With the election coming up in a little more than seven weeks, I want to use this opportunity to help the community know who I am. Over the last several weeks, I have shared information about my accomplishments at work. This week I am sharing about the things that matter most to me.
My wife, Kathy, and children (Aaron & Ashlyn) have been a focus of my life for over 26 years now. Kathy and I met as we were graduating high school. Kathy graduated from Middleton High School while I graduated from Nampa High School. We both worked at Kmart in Nampa but met after Kathy saw my photo at Hall Photography when she was getting her senior photos taken. Throughout our senior year, we became friends and started dating after graduating from high school. We married two years later while attending college at the College of Southern Idaho. I still remember the day that my father told me that I had found the right woman to marry. My family, especially my father, fell in love with Kathy very early on. My father said to me that if we were ever to split up, I would be the one to be kicked out of the family. My wife still likes to remind me of my father’s approval from time to time.
After college, I had my first full-time job offer at the New Plymouth Police Department. We moved to Payette and started building our family. We had two children, Aaron and Ashlyn. It is hard to imagine life before our children. We spent five incredible years together before having children, but after having children, we have focused our life on them. My wife has been a great supporter of our family. Working outside of the home to help provide for the family and still managing to make sure that daily chores are being done around the house. Kathy is always working hard to make sure that we don’t miss anything. She loves scrapbooking and things where she can express her artistic side. Our family would not be the same without the love and support of my wife.
Like many families, our children have become our life outside of work. When our children were young, we had our children involved with sports, dance, music, and church. We have continued to support our children with their interests. We have always enjoyed seeing them pursue the things that interest them. We have given our children opportunities to be involved in these things, and we been there to support our children.
When Aaron started taking guitar lessons, he needed help practicing at home. One of my coworkers gave me a guitar that needed some repair. I took the guitar and fixed it. I then spent the next couple of years learning a few basic chords to play along with him. I learned enough guitar to get him going. Aaron has expanded his musical abilities to the trombone, piano, and bass guitar. He has had opportunities to play in the worship band at our church, concert band at school, the Treasure Valley Honor Band, and in an NNU Jazz Combo band while attending high school. I have been proud to watch Aaron, his growth as a musician, and how he expresses himself through music.
Ashlyn has always had an interest in dancing. I used to take Ashlyn to her dance lessons and watch her learn how to dance. She continued dance lessons through elementary school and joined the Cheerleading Squad in middle school. Ashlyn is a cheerleader at New Plymouth High School. In addition to dance, Ashlyn started learning the piano when she was in elementary school. When she joined the middle school band, she decided to play the flute. Ashlyn is still active in playing for the worship band at our church, concert band at school, and the Treasure Valley Honor Band. I have enjoyed watching Ashlyn performing as a cheerleader at the New Plymouth High School games and at any time that she is playing music.
Education has been an essential part of our life. We have supported our children throughout their entire school career to live up to their potential. Knowing that our children can do well in school, we set the bar high for them in school. Their studies have always been an important part of our family. We have celebrated with them as they have done well in school and succeed in both dual credit courses, as well as college courses.
Having grown up in church, I wanted to raise my family in the church as well. We attended church in New Plymouth for numerous years. Our children have had opportunities to learn about faith and participate in many valuable experiences in the church. They have also met many people who support them as one of their children. These relationships are invaluable to not only our children but also to us. These relationships have helped support our children as they are growing up.
I have worked and served our communities for a long time. This service does not compare to the relationship that I have with my family. Watching my children grow and being a part of their successes has been an essential part of my life. It has enriched me in more ways than can be measured. I have enjoyed being a part of helping my children grow and mature in faith, music, sports, school, and as being well-rounded young adults.
I’ve always been curious about how the pieces and parts of something operate. I’m often driven to learn by carefully observing, reading, examining documents, investigating or experimenting. My desire to learn is what I find myself using to improve my hobbies, my personal interests, involvement at church, and work responsibilities.
I freely admit I enjoy learning about things that are of a benefit to me, but I equally enjoy sharing my knowledge with others for their benefit. Sometimes, it’s just plain old good fun to share common interests with friends, community members, law enforcement officers, and students. Throughout my career I have been able to teach others as a direct result of my learning experiences and training. Here are a few examples of the types of teaching that I have participated in.
I started learning about photography in high school and haven’t stopped yet! For instance, I have watched many videos and read many articles that explained how to use a DSLR camera in Manual Mode. In addition to the constant learning about this, I have found that continual practice helps me improve. As a result of encountering many other photographers who were “practicing” how to do the same thing, I put together an easy to follow google document that explains what the settings do and how to use the Manual Mode on their DSLR camera. I’ve shared this with many different people to help them take better advantage of their DSLR cameras.
As a young Deputy, I found crash reconstruction fascinating. I was fortunate to have several mentors that helped me learn. They not only reinforced my numerous course materials, but also shared their hands-on experiences of how to investigate and reconstruct a traffic crash. My mentors invested their knowledge to me, and in turn I have invested mine to others. Having spent many years learning about investigating and reconstructing traffic collisions, I have found others to be very interested in learning how to apply math and physics to reconstruct crashes too. Students from Payette High School, new Idaho police officers and students at the Treasure Valley Community College have all benefited from my knowledge.
General Law Enforcement
I have always enjoyed interacting with our youth and answering their questions about law enforcement. Over the last 20 years, I have had the opportunity to talk with so many students at Payette, Fruitland, New Plymouth, and Ontario High Schools. I have learned that our children have honest questions, but don’t often feel comfortable enough to ask them. Whenever I get a chance to talk with our youth, I make it a priority to create an environment that encourages participation and to let them know that any question is worth asking. These opportunities have helped students to open up and ask questions that they likely would not get answers to in any other way.
I also take advantage of numerous opportunities to talk with civic groups in our community about law enforcement. Our citizens, like our youth, often have questions about topics that they see in the news, law enforcement activities in our community, and the administration of our department. Talking with our community members, in a manner that encourages participation, gives them the chance to learn not only about law enforcement, but about the Payette County Sheriff’s Office as well.
Learning is a life long endeavor. Teaching may only be a brief opportunity. I enjoy focusing on both.
During my 24-year Law Enforcement career, I have been a Jail Technician, Patrol Officer (since May 1997), a Reserve Police Officer, Patrol Team Supervisor, Field Training Officer, and Patrol Division Sergeant. Sheriff Bob Barowsky hired me as a sworn Sheriff's Deputy for the Payette County Sheriff’s Office in March 1999.
I currently hold both a Technical Certificate in Law Enforcement from the College of Southern Idaho and a Management Certificate through the State of Idaho (this is the second-highest attainable certificate through the Idaho POST Academy). I also have the Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Patrol Certificates.
I attended the Northwestern University for Public Safety Command College. The School of Police Staff and Command (SPSC) is an intensive 5-month program that prepares law enforcement managers for senior positions by uniquely combining academic principles with practical applications.
I have also attended the FBI Command Leadership Institute where they covered credibility, command discipline and liability, dealing with problem employees, and leading change within an organization.
I have redesigned and managed the field training program for new patrol deputies. I am an Internationally Accredited Crash Reconstructionist through A.C.T.A.R. I am the Emergency Service Coordinator and a Collision Reconstructionist for Payette County.
Over my career I have completed over 3,700 hours of in-service training. Of that training, over 480 hours is in management and 390 hours in emergency management.
I’ve taught 261 hours of Law Enforcement related courses to students at the Idaho Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) Basic Patrol Academy and the Treasure Valley Community College (TVCC).
I am employed by the Payette County Sheriff's Office, as a Lieutenant. My current assignment as an administrator for the Dispatch Services Divisions, is to seek out and apply for available grants to improve communications and interoperability with emergency response agencies within Payette County.
In 2015 I applied for and was awarded the largest grant awarded that year, $560,000, from the Idaho Emergency Communications Network. The grant was used to install a new 911 phone system. This project created the first consolidated remote/host 911 phone system in the State of Idaho which joined two separate counties into one system. The system is designed with the ability to add additional dispatch centers to it, managing up to 90 dispatch positions at one time. The consolidation of the 911 phone system promotes interoperability between Public Service Answering Point (PSAP) adds layers of redundancy, and helps share maintenance costs of the system.
Using a free, web-based service from Telecommunication System (TCS) called Gem911 the Text-2-911 was also implemented in Payette County in 2015. Payette County Sheriff’s Office’s Dispatch Center was the 3rd dispatch in the State of Idaho to successfully implement Text-2-911. Within 3 months of its introduction the Payette County Dispatch Center received its first Text-2-911, which resulted in the apprehension of a DUI Driver. This project was completed with no expense to the taxpayers of Payette County.
I also used grant funds available from the Idaho Office of Emergency Management in 2015 to complete a project to provide secure radio communications to the High Desert Drug Task Force. This Task Force had been operating for years using limited and inadequate communications through cell phones. The addition of this project provided secure, private radio communication coverage to the task force in southern Washington County, Payette County, and Malheur County.
I was raised in Nampa, Idaho by my parents, late Nampa Police Chief Alan Creech and Laura Creech.
After graduating from high school in Nampa I moved to Twin Falls, Idaho to study criminal justice and business management at the College of Southern Idaho. I graduated with a technical certificate in law enforcement.
While attending college, I was a Reserve Police Officer for the Kimberly Police Department and worked at the Twin Falls County Criminal Justice Center as a Jail Technician.
In 1997 the City of New Plymouth hired me to be a Patrol Officer. I worked for the City of New Plymouth for two years before transferring to the Payette County Sheriff’s Office. I advanced through the department as a supervisor and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 2014.
My wife and I live in New Plymouth, Idaho with our two children, Aaron and Ashlyn. We have developed a professional family photography hobby. For several years we’ve taken photos for Treasure Valley Community College Athletics, for families and high school seniors in our community.
I am a member of the Board of Directors for the Valley Family Health Center. Their mission is to provide high quality, patient-centered health care services to satisfy the primary care needs of our community members and to assure access to care for all. I enjoy being part of the health care center since December 2016, and my volunteering helps to bring access to health care to the entire community.
Law enforcement and community involvement have always been important to me.
Community partnerships have allowed me to share the knowledge, training, and insight that I have gained throughout my law enforcement career. I have spoken at New Plymouth, Fruitland and Payette High School’s about the United States Constitution, State Laws, Local laws, vehicle safety, driver safety and what to do when an officer pulls you over.
I also began teaching the Payette High School physics class about how physics is used in law enforcement to investigate vehicle collisions, along with other Crash Reconstructions. I have also spoken with the health classes in New Plymouth and Fruitland High Schools about making smart decisions when operating a motor vehicle. I firmly believe having our deputies involved with our youth is beneficial.
In addition to these duties at the High Schools, I have been an Adjunct Instructor at the Treasure Valley Community College teaching students Crime Scene Investigations, Patrol Procedures, Traffic Law, and Traffic Crash Investigations. I also currently teach an introduction to crash investigation class to officers and deputies at the Idaho Police Officers Standards and Training (POST) Basic Academy.
Sheriff Huff has worked with me over the last several years to help me learn the administrative duties that are fulfilled by the Sheriff. I have attended the Idaho Sheriff’s Association Conferences along with Sheriff Huff for the three last years and have made many valuable relationships throughout the State of Idaho. I have attended the "New Sheriff School" and numerous other trainings that are designed for Sheriffs and their administration. As a Lieutenant, I have been involved in the daily operations and administration of the Payette County Sheriff’s Office. I have been part of and want to continue identifying areas for advancement, improvement, and implementing those improvements within Payette County.
The experiences throughout my life have shown me the importance of continual learning, improvement, and development within our department and community. I bring this approach to my work, community volunteering, and family every day.
I have diligently served in law enforcement for over 24 years. I believe that community involvement is essential in law enforcement, and I take the initiative to reach out into our community to provide more complete services to our community members. I value integrity, service, dedication, and commitment to our community.
My highest priorities focus on the safety of our community, care and well-being of the Payette County Sheriff’s Office Employees that serve the community, and fiscal responsibility. I will protect our citizens and their rights by upholding the Constitution and the Laws of the State of Idaho.
I started keeping bees several years ago. Throughout the years, I have learned many new things. I have saved many swarms and lost many colonies. These things have helped me learn about how to keep bee colonies.
From the website Girl Next Door Honey, Hilary Kearney identifies five traits that it takes to be a great beekeeper in her October 25, 2015 article titled “Will You Make a Good Beekeeper?” Kearney believes that great beekeepers are resilient, have a curious mind, use critical thinking, have grace under pressure, and are humble. I have found these traits to not only be important in beekeeping but also in leadership.
“A good beekeeper knows that mistakes are part of learning and that every failure is an opportunity to learn something new.” Leaders often discover failures and setbacks within their organizations. Resilience is an important trait for a leader to possess in order to evaluate the success of their agency and learn from mistakes. Leaders who are willing to find opportunities to learn from, will always find a way to help their agency succeed. A resilient decision maker leading the Payette County Sheriff’s Office is important.
“People who are naturally curious will make the extra effort to look up things that they find in the hive that they do not understand.” (Kearney, 2015) Having a curious mind has helped me learn not only about bees and their behaviors but also about the functioning of the Payette County Sheriff’s Office and how to lead it. My curiosity has led to many new advancements that continue to help the Payette County Sheriff’s Office serve our communities. I have always paid attention to new technologies and analyze them to see if they are beneficial to the Payette County Sheriff’s Office mission. A couple of these items are Text-2-911 and a 911 Phone System that allows us to have an automatic backup to our 911 Dispatch Center with Washington County. This partnership with Washington County ensures that your 911 will always reach a dispatcher, who can get help to you.
“I encourage new beekeepers to seek out as many different perspectives and techniques as possible and then make their own decision about what they think is best.” Leadership is more than just listening to other people; it also includes critically thinking about their suggestions and implementing what will enhance the mission of their organization. I enjoy talking with citizens, employees, and other leaders to find more efficient methods to provide safe communities. I have used these methods to identify needed improvements in the Payette County Sheriff’s office and develop strategies to reach them. As the next Sheriff, my use of critical thinking will enable the Payette County Sheriff’s Office to move confidently into the future.
Leaders need to be able to have grace under pressure. I had the opportunity to develop this ability when serving as a law enforcement officer. Kearney points out, “beekeepers who can stay calm even when things go wrong tend to make better beekeepers.” The way a leader handles pressure leading a department or a community sets the tone for both. People look toward a leader for direction. A calm response during a crisis helps an agency and a community navigate through a crisis. As Payette County’s Emergency Manager, I have evaluated situations, listened to sources with input, and provided the leadership necessary to guide our community forward, even during a crisis.
I learned to be humble at an early age. A person’s ego can often get in the way of accomplishing great things. Kearney says, “Beekeeping can be a humbling experience because it is impossible to understand everything about bees. There is so much we don’t know, and there are a lot of things that are out of our control.” A leader, much like a beekeeper, must remain humble in order to keep learning. My involvement with improvement projects at the Payette County Sheriff’s Office has served to highlight the fact there is always room for improvement and additional learning. Co-workers, community members, and other leaders have the ability to support each other to make any goal achievable. I value all the contributions others make to further improve the Payette County Sheriff’s Office. I enjoy having the opportunity to meet with our business leaders, community members, and employees to talk about the things that matter most to our community.
Hilary Kearney identified the five traits of great beekeepers as resilient, having a curious mind, using critical thinking, having grace under pressure and humility. As a forward-thinking leader, I’ll use all five of these traits to lead the Payette County Sheriff’s Office and to continue to make our communities safe places to live in.
A candidate that believes in partnership with citizens to make our communities safer.