FOUR MORE YEARS FOR SCHUSTER?
Doug Schuster believes a record of achievement and progress, and his commitment to provide the best law enforcement possible, should earn him a second term as Mohave County Sheriff.
``It’s truly an honor to serve as sheriff. We’re making tremendous headway. We’re doing this because we have the support of the people and I’m so grateful,” Schuster said. ``I’m asking the public to continue that support. Stand behind me. Stand with me and together we’re going to make this county much, much better. Let’s keep the momentum going.”
The 41-year resident of Lake Havasu City became a Mohave County Detention Officer out of high school. Schuster became a deputy in 1991, was promoted to sergeant in 1996 and worked all over the county before he temporarily retired after 26 years of service in 2015.
Schuster said he was disillusioned with the sheriff’s office at his point of exit, but jumped at the chance to be elected sheriff in 2016 to correct some of the problems he previously witnessed. He said he is proud to have been able to work with the Board of Supervisors to address severe personnel issues involving pay, compression and retention in a department that had been a training ground for other agencies to poach.
``I’m happy to say we corrected it,” Schuster said. ``No one’s going to get rich in law enforcement, but it’s very competitive for Mohave County now. We have fixed the compression. Morale is fantastic.”
Schuster said he and his staff spent 18 months developing a comprehensive long-range program that will provide continuity and serve as a blueprint for continual, incremental improvement of his department.
``It’s all-encompassing and the purpose behind the 10-year strategic plan is to be able to define where we are now as an agency, where we should be now as an agency, but more importantly, where we need to be as an agency,” Schuster said. ``It takes an army to get things done and I’ve always been able to surround myself with wonderful people. Collectively, we’re doing really good things.”
Schuster said the county crime rate has been lowered during his administration. He said he’s made progress in transitioning the department and its staff to interact with the public more positively, despite campaign season hyperbole.
``Once an election year hits, all the negativity starts. I can’t put my finger on one specific area where we’re failing,” Schuster said. ``We can always improve but during an election year you’ll hear all sorts of things about our department that simply aren’t true. If you want to know the information reach out and ask your sheriff. I tell it as it is.”
Schuster was in charge of waterway enforcement at Lake Havasu for many years during which he helped develop innovating ways to handle large crowds on holiday weekends. That involvement helped earn him Arizona Boating Safety Officer of the year awards in 2007 and 2010, followed shortly by the same honor at the regional and national level.
``I’ve always tried to do the very best job I can. I think I have a remarkable work ethic and it’s something I pride myself on,” Schuster said. ``I’ve never been a fan of pomp and circumstance but, throughout the course of my career, I’ve achieved every commendation the department has to offer.”
Schuster said anyone wanting to more about his re-election campaign can reach out to his personal or Schuster for Sheriff Facebook pages or by email (www.sheriffschuster.com).