CLINTON COUNTY, Ind. – First-term Clinton County Sheriff Rich Kelly has announced he will seek reelection in the 2022 election cycle in a prepared statement. Below is the statement in its entirety.
“The holiday season is a busy time of year as we practice the traditions with our families, share special moments with loved ones, and celebrate the birth of our Savior.
“As your Sheriff, I have been very busy as well. My staff and I have worked diligently to be fiscally minded and save local taxpayer money, while increasing public safety. After learning of budget constraints in 2019, I set out to find a solution that would benefit the community and the agency as a whole. To this, I made the decision to house federal inmates. This program generated over $1.2 million in its first year and we are on track to generate over $1.4 million in our second year. This new revenue gave us the opportunity to add 13 important positions to increase public safety with more deputies on the road, jail staff and a civilian investigative assistant. This program has allowed us to change our fleet, over three years to Chevrolet Tahoes, which is the safest and most dependable police pursuit vehicle available and offers a higher resale value. In the upcoming 2022 budget, because of this new revenue, I have removed line items from our local tax based county general fund, alleviating local tax money to support things such as our service agreement line of $100,000 and other important equipment purchases like body worn cameras and car cameras ($327,000), tasers ($42,000) and cell extraction equipment ($15,000). The update in this equipment is paramount as it brings us to current technology and standards.
“My guarantee to the people of Clinton County is that I will always work with you in mind to make this the best and safest place in the country and across the world.
“Across this nation there has been an alarming trend of people trying to defund law enforcement and create distrust in the people who put their lives on the line to maintain law and order. I speak for a grateful agency when I say that we appreciate the support of our community to Law Enforcement.
“While I have been working hard for you, others have been working hard to cast doubt and make accusations and ultimately hinder the work of public safety by targeting me and my family. I will openly admit when I make mistakes and work to correct them. So, that is why I want to be completely clear, I will continue to fight the good fight. I will keep pressing forward with courage and veracity. I will cooperate with other elected officials, but I will not compromise. I will not compromise the integrity of this office or the rights given to it by the Constitution of the State of Indiana. I will not be politically bullied or threatened, without recourse. This is not a time to step backwards.
“I have brought in evidence-based programs for inmates that are working in the rehabilitation of these individuals. Our Adult Education program accounts for half of all county graduates. We have an intense drug and alcohol rehabilitation program funded by a grant through the Indiana Sheriffs’ Association. We do financial literacy. Our Second Chance Program finds employment opportunities for offenders upon their release. Our Chaplain ministry provides services to people of all faiths, and I recently opened their services to extend to all police and fire agencies community wide. The inmates are given opportunities to serve with community based organizations such as Sleep in Heavenly Peace, building beds for kids so that no child sleeps on the floor, and the Yellow Ribbon Project to send care packages to deployed soldiers.
“I want to assure everyone that I will be seeking reelection as your Clinton County Sheriff. I will continue working hard to ensure your vote and I will not back down, give in, or give up until I have finished the work I have been entrusted. So with a full heart and determination, my family and I humbly ask for your continued support and your vote in the upcoming May primary! God Bless our Law Enforcement. God Bless our First Responders. God Bless our Military and God Bless America!
Clinton County Sheriff Rich Kelly”