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Letters to the editor: As sheriff, Brad Kunkel will focus on combatting online crime


Brad Kunkel, courtesy of Brad Kunkel for Sheriff

Letter submitted by Julie Kunkel

By Ben Lord, North Liberty

Within the sheriff’s office, I have had the unique opportunity to work as a patrol deputy supervised by Brad Kunkel for three years, with the subsequent good fortune to work as investigator next to Brad for the last two. As a certified forensic computer examiner, part of my job as an investigator is to process digital evidence for the sheriff’s office and to assist other agencies from around the state when needed. Much of my work involves investigating the online exploitation of children — an epidemic that has increased exponentially in the United States to 45 million images and videos in 2018 alone.

During the COVID-19 crisis, reports of child exploitation material have additionally doubled. Brad has always understood the importance of these investigations. He has recognized the value of partnerships with other law enforcement organizations, educating youth and parents, resource investment and working with nonprofit organizations to advance these goals.

Electronic investigations are a component of every major investigation that occurs in Johnson County, often providing sources of essential information. For many in the community, the only type of crime experienced is online, such as identity theft or harassment. While law enforcement in some areas has been slow to adapt to these new challenges, Brad will continue to expand the foundation created by Sheriff Pulkrabek by increasing staff and making a commitment to an electronic investigation task force. As a conscientious leader who I have always known to be measured, thoughtful and collaborative, Brad has earned my vote for sheriff.

By Jean Lloyd-Jones, Iowa City

Please vote for Brad Kunkel for sheriff.

I had the opportunity to meet and question Sergeant Kunkel shortly before the coronavirus guidelines were put in place. I was impressed with his attitude about law enforcement, his interest in reducing incarceration rates and connecting people who have addiction and mental health problems with appropriate services. His professional training as well as his many years of experience in the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department have prepared him well to take on the leadership position. I am glad to support him as our next Johnson County sheriff.

I’m voting for Brad Kunkel in the June 2 primary and I ask that you do the same.


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