Three candidates are in the running to be the next Sheriff of Beltrami County after Sheriff Ernie Beitel announced his intentions to retire earlier this year. These candidates will be on ballots for the Tuesday, Aug. 9, primary election.
The candidates are listed in the order in which they were interviewed.
Bidal Duran is a former Bemidji Police Department patrol officer who now works in the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office narcotics division.
Duran, in his interview, spoke on a number of themes and issues facing law enforcement, including recruiting and retention, use of force, transparency and community partnerships, drug abuse, and the upcoming jail project.
Jarrett Walton has served as Sheriff Ernie Beitel’s Chief Deputy and is Beitel’s endorsed candidate.
Walton currently runs the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office, which includes patrol, investigation, courts and jail.
Walton emphasized reducing recidivism in his interview and highlighted some of those efforts underway in the current Beltrami County Jail. Other topics also included recruiting and retention, school safety and training, and the crime rate.
Captain Jason Riggs is currently employed within the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office and strongly believes in servant leadership.
In his interview, Riggs highlighted the need to improve relationships with tribal nations, as well as discussed the needs at the Beltrami County Jail, mental health and drug abuse issues, and trainings to prevent school shootings.