Skyler prefers face-to-face contact

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October 24, 2012 - 12:00 AM

Skyler Clark spent more than 20 years working in law enforcement, and is eager for a chance to once again wear a badge.
He is running as an independent in the Allen County sheriff’s race that will be decided Nov. 6. He is opposed by Bryan Murphy, the Republican candidate.
“I think the voters need a choice,” Clark told the Register, and explained his candidacy as an unaffiliated candidate as the outcome of his voting habits. “I’ve always voted for the man, not the party. I’ve been an independent for several years,” after dropping his registration as a Republican.
Clark has no specific plans for what he would do if elected, other than “evaluate what’s being done and make sure we have what’s necessary for the operation,” including how personnel are scheduled.
He has no preconceived notions about what might occur personnel-wise, Clark said.
“I’m at a disadvantage from my foe,” he added. “He (Murphy) has access to the office (as undersheriff) that I don’t have yet.”
If he were sheriff, Clark said he would prefer to be out and about, a hands-on officer.
“I like to talk to people face-to-face and find out what their concerns and problems are,” he said. “My focus would be to serve and protect and do criminal investigation and follow up with victims.”
Clark was certified as a law enforcement officer in Kansas and Colorado, but “since I’ve been out of law enforcement more than five years I’d have to take a written test. If I passed, I’d be recertified.”
“I have been flattered by all the support and positive responses I’ve gotten during my campaign,” most door-to-door and when mingling with people at events, his preference.
“I am a face-to-face guy,” he said.

CLARK, 56, was born in Iola in 1956, and was raised on South Kentucky Street. He attended Iola schools and graduated from Iola High in 1974.
While in high school, he kept busy with odd jobs, working on the family farm, carrying out groceries at Iola IGA and working after school at Wichman Ford.
Law enforcement interested Clark and by the time he was 19 he had a job directing traffic for the Denver Police Department — “I wasn’t old enough for regular patrol duty,” which had a minimum age of 21.
Clark moved to Denver because it was the hometown of his wife, Gladys.
Clark was affiliated with the Denver force until 1979, when he returned to Iola to be an Allen County deputy.
“That was after my uncle, Glen Cooper, died,” he said, allowing that he would have returned sooner but nepotism prevented him from taking a job with the county as long as Cooper was sheriff. Jim Setter, Cooper’s undersheriff, took over and hired Clark, a job that was short-lived because Setter was defeated in the next year’s election.
Subsequently he was an Iola officer, spent time with the Burlington, Colo., force, when he and Gladys decided to return closer to her family, and then returned again to this area to be a deputy when Setter was sheriff in Neosho County. His last law enforcement experiences were with Humboldt (1985-88) and Iola (1988-96), before buying a truck to haul grain and oil.
More recently he has occupied himself with farming.
He and wife Gladys have four grown children and 12 grandchildren.

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