Posted: Oct 24, 2012 2:08 PM by Katy Harris KXLF News
It may be his first time running for any office but Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff candidate Ed Lester has worked for the law enforcement department for 23 years.
"The community's support since I filed has been overwhelming. I've been inundated with well wishers and support so I think the community is ready for a change and I truly think I am the person that can deliver that change," says Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff Candidate Ed Lester.
Ed Lester knows the mining city like the back of his hand.
He grew up here and as soon as he graduated from Montana State University, came back to Butte.
He began his law enforcement career 23 years ago as a patrol officer with the Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement Department.
Since then he's worked his way up the ranks to his current position of Detective Lieutenant.
Lester says Butte has the highest crime rate in the state and that the Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement Department needs to work closely with other agencies to change that statistic.
"That's the first thing I'd like to change is to strengthen those relationships and with that would come an enhancement in our ability to enforce the law," says Lester.
Re-introducing a K-9 unit to the department is also a change Lester would like to make.
He says a K-9 unit would help with drug seizures in traffic stop situations and for drug sweeps through Butte schools.
He adds, "I don't see it being any real difficulty in us establishing a K-9 Unit to see if we can use the dog both for patrol purposes and also to locate some drugs in certain situations."
Lester says he has built strong community relationships over his 23 years with the department and plans to do the same if elected as Sheriff.
"I believe that we are ready to make a change in our law enforcement department and to do things a little differently and hopefully we can be more effective in the future," concludes Lester.
He has been a firearms instructor for 20 years, a member of the SWAT Team for 17 years and was a school resource officer for 5 years.
Lester believes his time spent as a school resource officer helped him see law enforcement from a different angle.