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Letter to the editor: 10 letters in support of Brad Kunkel for Johnson County sheriff


Brad Kunkel, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office

Bundle of letters submitted by Julie Kunkel

By Leslie and Scott Carpenter, Iowa City

As advocates for people with serious brain disorders like schizophrenia, we’re endorsing Brad Kunkel to be our next Johnson County sheriff. Brad understands the physical and financial burden that our inadequate mental health care system places on local communities and sheriffs across Iowa. Often, the lack of psychiatric beds means that these patients must be transported by sheriff’s deputies to various hospitals across the state, or they end up in county jails needing treatment that jail staff are not trained to provide.

Brad supports jail diversion programs and crisis intervention training for law enforcement and first responders, and our efforts to establish an assisted outpatient treatment program and civil mental health court in Johnson County.

Brad understands that brain disorders and co-occurring substance abuse disorders are illnesses that require treatment instead of punishment. He knows that people who receive treatment for these illnesses can often lead productive, meaningful lives.

Brad’s 20 years in the Sheriff’s Office and as a volunteer with several organizations (including being a board member of the Domestic Violence Intervention Program), has helped establish important relationships with many community leaders and agencies that will help serve Johnson County residents.

Brad is the type of leader we need. He’s an experienced law enforcement officer who is an intelligent and thoughtful communicator. He understands the role that the Sheriff’s Office must play in assisting with mental health care. His understanding, caring and compassion will make him an outstanding sheriff.

Please join us in voting for Brad Kunkel on/before June 2.

By Tyler Schneider, North Liberty

I would like to take this opportunity to show my support for Brad Kunkel as the next sheriff of Johnson County. I have had the pleasure of working with Brad for the last 8.5 years while I have been employed with the Sheriff’s Office. When I started with the Patrol Division at the end of 2014, Brad was one of the sergeants that supervised the division. Brad’s compassion and empathy for the victims that we often worked with was evident from very early on. This is further shown by Brad’s longtime involvement with the Domestic Violence Intervention Program (DVIP).

Brad has been employed with the Sheriff’s Office for nearly 20 years working in many different capacities within the office, including the last seven years as a supervisor. I believe Brad’s knowledge of what it takes to successfully operate the Sheriff’s Office will be a tremendous benefit to the employees of the office, and more importantly, the people of Johnson County.

In getting to know Brad over the last 8.5 years, I have seen that Brad’s record of public service is second to none. Please join me in supporting Brad during the June 2 Democratic Primary.

By Randy Lamm, Solon

I’ve known Brad Kunkel for 20 years. Brad has a servant’s heart which has been displayed in the numerous community organizations that he has been a part of. I believe a look at a person’s family is often a reflection of what they stand for. Brad and his wife Julie are raising three sons that are well on their way to being honorable, respectful men of integrity.

I’ve worked closely with Brad for years. I’m impressed with the level of compassion Brad has for crime victims and also the professionalism he shows when dealing with perpetrators. As a member of the law enforcement community I can tell you the best solution is not always clear. Brad will do the right thing even when that decision isn’t easy or popular. Brad will bring common sense to complicated situations that law enforcement handles.

The job of the Johnson County Sheriff is complex and unique when compared to other law enforcement agencies. Brad has spent his entire law enforcement career observing and learning what Johnson County citizens need and expect from their sheriff. He knows what works and what doesn’t and I have no doubt that Brad Kunkel is the kind of sheriff our community will be proud of. I’m asking you to join me; vote Brad Kunkel for Johnson County sheriff in the June 2 primary election.

By Jon Smith, Iowa City

I have 18 years of law enforcement experience, 13 of which have been with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. I have worked with many co-workers over the years and Brad is as good as it gets. I have seen firsthand how professional he represents himself on a daily basis. Brad has solid character and is a genuine person that cares deeply for the community. He is down-to-earth, hardworking and personal to talk to; he also works well with others and is a team player. He takes the time to listen and treats people with respect. Brad has served on numerous boards within the community and has worked in many different roles within the Sheriff’s Office. This experience has made him a well-rounded deputy.

Brad’s passion for law enforcement and strong leadership has made him a stand-out to become the next sheriff of Johnson County, and I am confident Brad will do an outstanding job for the citizens of Johnson County. Brad is a leader and will make the citizens of Johnson County a top priority. I am honored to be working with Brad at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and he is the right person to be the next sheriff of Johnson County.

Please vote for Brad in the upcoming June 2, 2020 primary.

By Kari Juhl, Solon

I am supporting Brad Kunkel for Johnson County Sheriff on June 2. His commitment and service to our communities over the past 20 years is second to none. His dedication to keeping everyone in our community not only safe, but also educated on safety, whether it is with their career or home life, shines through consistently.

As a realtor in our community, Brad has provided me and all the realtors in our association the opportunity to increase our knowledge on self-defense and safety in our line of work. He is there, whenever we ask. I have also seen first-hand as a volunteer his dedication to the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, empowering victims to advocate for themselves and their family in incredibly difficult times.

On-duty or not, Brad is always there, giving his time to help support residents and families in our community. This is what he loves and his energy inspires so many around him. Brad is a leader, one that I look forward to having as our next Johnson County sheriff!

By Paul Deaton, Solon

There is a Democratic primary race between Brad Kunkel and Al Fear. I’m supporting Brad Kunkel and here’s why.

He has been a Johnson County deputy sheriff since 2001. His work well prepared him to manage county law enforcement with a minimal learning curve.

He is well-known in the community, having served on the Solon City Council, where the decisions he made were well-considered and thoughtful. He has a proven record in governance.

He is engaged in the community, active in many important groups. He is notably a board member of 100+ Men Who Care and of the Domestic Violence Intervention Program.

He is willing to engage with community members individually. Brad and I have had numerous conversations about gardening, especially since he moved to a more rural part of the county. He has the temperament to get along with people and that’s important in an increasingly diverse county.

I hope you will join me in voting for Brad Kunkel for sheriff as our candidate in the June 2 primary election.

By Gerene Denning, Iowa City

To protect and serve.

As a public health researcher, I support Brad Kunkel in the primary for Johnson County sheriff on June 2, 2020. He has shown a deep understanding of the role of law enforcement in protecting public health and safety and continues to partner with other public agencies in the region to help plan and support essential services, including emergency medical services (EMS) and mental health care services. As sheriff, Brad would be an exemplary public servant and a strong voice for public health and safety in the county and the state.

By John Good, Kalona

I support Brad Kunkel as a candidate for Johnson County sheriff. I have been in law enforcement for 25 years and I have had the privilege of working with him for 19 of those years. Brad’s personal and professional work exemplify his passion for public service.

He has increased awareness for victims of domestic abuse by independently partnering with DVIP and has also worked as a volunteer firefighter on behalf of his local community. Brad’s experience with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office for almost two decades has additionally given him direct and cross-divisional knowledge of what it takes to lead a successful office.

He is approachable, willing to listen and solutions-oriented. He is also a true professional who is committed to integrity and helping others. I urge you to reach out to him for a first-person perspective of all he has to offer and to consider giving him your vote on or before June 2 for Johnson County sheriff!

Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek. — official photo

By Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek, Iowa City

I’m happy to support Brad Kunkel for Johnson County sheriff.

I’ve had the pleasure of serving you as sheriff of Johnson County for the past 15+ years and the job is not one that I or anyone else should or can take lightly. The office of sheriff requires a balance of both politics and leading a very large law enforcement agency, which means sometimes those two worlds can collide. In these tough situations it takes someone that believes in their co-workers, trusts their co-workers and asks them to always perform at a high level. I’m confident that Brad is up to the task. The sheriff must also always follow the Constitution and enforce the laws of Iowa; in addition, the sheriff is responsible for the operation and oversight of the county jail. Brad’s career experience, including his years working in the jail, are valuable for safe and efficient jail management.

The office of sheriff requires a thoughtful approach to what is best for the citizens of Johnson County. I have worked with Brad Kunkel for over 20 years and I know he has the temperament, intelligence and integrity to excel in the office of sheriff. I wholeheartedly believe he is the best person to take the office into the challenging time ahead.

Join me and vote for Brad Kunkel on or before June 2 for Johnson County sheriff.

By Karla Smith, North Liberty

I mailed in my ballot for the primary election today. I feel good about everyone I voted for but am especially excited about my vote for Brad Kunkel for Johnson County sheriff.

I have known Brad for several years. Brad is a very compassionate and caring human being. As a retired psychiatric nurse, I applaud his support of and ideas for mental health treatment as well as domestic violence intervention.

Brad’s years of service in the community as a volunteer firefighter and a councilman, as well as his years with the sheriff’s department more than qualify him to lead as Johnson County sheriff. I encourage you to please cast your vote for Brad Kunkel for Johnson County sheriff.


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