NEW EYES, NEW EARS, NEW TACTICS
SECURE THE COURTHOUSE
The primary responsibility of the Berks County Sheriff's Department is to secure the Berks County Courthouse and Services Center. Currently, the entrances to the Courthouse and Services Center are secured by unarmed personnel provided by a private security company. As Sheriff, Bart Ganster would place armed deputies at all Courthouse and Services Center entrances to help ensure the safety of the public and County staff.
"We need action, not reaction. We need to take a look at our courthouse; our courthouse needs an armed deputy at all entrances. We are open 24-7. "
RESPECT AND SUPPORT LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT
Policing is generally not a duty of a sheriff's department in Pennsylvania. However, Pennsylvania sheriff's departments are vested with the ability to assist in policing. Bart Ganster believes that the Berks County Sheriff's Department should be available to provide state and local law enforcement with the assistance of highly-trained deputies upon their specific request. Currently, Berks County Sheriff's deputies are often tasked with general police duties without request and without first being presented the opportunity for proper training.
"As far as assisting city, county, and state police: at their request, we will provide backup after our deputies are properly trained for that assistance. Just going for Act 120 training does not make you a seasoned police officer; your police are with a training officer for months before taking on the detail alone. I want this for the safety of everyone involved."
In just three short years, 2017-2019, the deficit to run the Berks County Sheriff's Office has grown from $7,585,645 to $7,982,364. The costs for the Sheriff's Office for that 3 year period above and beyond what they collected in fees and fines is $23,417,796. As Sheriff, Bart Ganster will protect tax payers' money without sacrificing services by aggressively pursuing fees and fines owed by those convicted of crimes.
"The burden upon taxpayers from 2017 to 2019 grew by an astonishing $396,719. Just the *growth* of the Sheriff's deficit in three years is comparable to the entire constable deficit for the district courts in reading."
FIREARM TRAINING AND SAFETY
Bart Ganster is a proponent of the 2nd Amendment and believes in an individual's right to possess and own firearms. He is also a strong proponent of firearm safety, and believes not only should the Sheriff's Office provide the means to obtain a concealed carry permit, but also provide firearm safety training as well as encourage responsible gun ownership.
"When issuing gun permits we must offer a one time training course on how to handle, manipulate, and clean the weapon safely. There are first time gun owners buying guns without knowing how to safely use them. Then encourage them to join a gun club to practice shooting their gun."
ENHANCED DEPUTY TRAINING
The hardworking deputies of the Berks County Sheriff's Department have the immense duty of securing the County Courthouse and Services Center, serving warrants, and transporting prisoners. Currently they are not being afforded the best training to help in their execution of these duties. Training is critical for their and the public's safety. As Sheriff, Bart Ganster will provide enhanced training to Sheriff's deputies to help them serve the people of Berks County.
"Deputies are trained to service the Court of Common Pleas and I will enhance that training to improve the safety and security of the citizens of Berks County. The K-9 unit is a great source- and I love the dogs- so the training and safety will not be overlooked."
"I want to thank Eric for his 34 years of service. But now it's time for new eyes, new ears, and new tactics. We need action not reaction. Our goal is to make Berks County safe. And we will do so with an elite force of deputies and deputy dogs. Thank you for your time."