I've been in Public Service most of my adult life, first serving in the United States Air Force, then transitionaing to civilian Law Enforcement and serving in a more community based environment. I was in leadership roles as a sergeant in both the Air Force and the Apache Junction Police Department.
Resolving issues and complaints is a large part of the law enforcement function, and with over 20 years experience, I've developed a skillset of listening, collecting information, asking questions for clarity and negotiating a resolution. I believe these skills prepare me for a role in the Legislature. These skills were routinely put into practice in my role as the President of the Apache Junction Police Officers Association. I would regularly meet with City staff to resolve policy issues, equipment needs, as well as preparing incentive programs to benefit city employees..
A PUBLIC SAFETY issue of concern is the Workers Compensation process regarding on-duty injury, particularly when it involves mental health concerns following critical incidents. Acute Stress and PTSD issues are being diagnosed with greater frequency. This is in part due to mental health procedures, which are rarely designed for First Responder issues, and a lack of recognition these concerns by workers compensation insurance. Caring for the mental health needs of a trained, experienced First responder, and keeping them working, is significantly less costly than medically retiring and training a new First Responder, which frequently occurs. Providing for the Mental Health needs of the First Responder insures they are prepared to efficiently and effectively serve the community. I bring first-hand experience regarding this issue. Being proactive towards a potential problem is of greater benefit to a community, than reacting after the fact.
VETERANS Issues, such as Health Care and homelessness, are always coming to light. I've spoken with a number of homeless veterans while I was a Police Officer, and many were not aware of the help that was available to them. The Department of Veterans Services has been taking steps to create programs to assist veterans, however, the locations providing assistance are not always available nearby. I'd like to help in working with community organizations, and try to provide meeting locations, which would greatly aid in addressing issues important to Veterans in need. .
EDUCATION issues remain at the forefront. I've seen students struggling in public schools who thrive in charter schools, so I support students in finding a learning environment that best suits their educational needs. However, the process currently in place to make that happen, appears to be faulty. I'm still collecting and reviewing information, and interviewing educators in attempts to provide a potential resolution. My impression is that a sound resolution will take time and considerable effort, but the work will bring Arizona to the top of the national education rankings.
COMMERCE in the East Valley is, of course, important to maintaining a healthy economy. Gateway Airport is an area that is starting to flourish, and I'd like to be able to assist in that area by working with City of Mesa and Gateway Airport Officials. There has been talk of bringing in more passenger airlines, or possibly a cargo hub. Either would bring in jobs and money into the community. A tourism destination or Conference Center/Performing Arts venue is another avenue I'd like to explore by working with respective city or county officials. The East Valley has a most majestic view of the Superstition Mountains which would serve as a wonderful backdrop for such a facility.
In closing, I'm a proud supporter of the SECOND AMENDMENT and would like to maintain Arizona's existing laws regarding firearms.