Surrounded by more than 100 friends, co-workers and family members, Salt Lake County Sheriff Aaron Kennard formerly announced his campaign for re-election Friday morning in the County Commission chambers.
"I present myself to you, the citizens of Salt Lake County to determine if I should continue in this office for four more years," Kennard said. "I've kept my promises, provided strong leadership and will continue to build and strengthen the important partnership between the office and the public we serve."Kennard, a Republican who has been in office since 1990, will face no challenger in the June 23 primary election. However, voters will have a choice among him; Democrat Scott Miller, a former sheriff's deputy; and Independent candidate John Sheets in the November general election.
Included among Kennard's accomplishments outlined during his Friday announcement were a reduction in the sheriff's office budget, the addition of new technologies including improved training and new weapons for officers, improved shared services with neighboring jurisdictions, pay equity for staff and the addition of 80 deputies, 150 corrections officers and 30 bailiff's to his staff. Kennard is also overseeing the construction of a new 2,000-bed jail, which he said will serve the county's incarceration needs for the next 30 years.
In addition, under Kennard's leadership, violent crime in the Salt Lake Valley has dropped despite trims to the office budget, he said.
Kennard credited much of his success to the strong support of municipal police chiefs across the valley, the Salt Lake County commissioners, his wife and family, and professional deputies who do their jobs well.
"You're the ones who speak for me. When you go to a call and the public sees that badge and that patch, as far as they're concerned, you are Aaron Kennard," the sheriff said. "We have some of the best trained, hardest-working officers in the country."
Prior to his election to the sheriff's office in 1990, Kennard was a captain in the Salt Lake City Police Department, where he served 20 years. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Utah, a master's degree in public administration from Brigham Young University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy for police administration and management. He is also an adjunct professor of criminal justice, criminal investigations and management at Weber State University and Salt Lake Community College.