David Starr

Tribune reporter Greg Lower is writing previews for candidates facing off in Tuesday’s primary election.


Republicans will decide between the current undersheriff and a challenger for sheriff in Tuesday’s primary.

David Starr said he will bring change to the position with his 29 years of experience in law enforcement.

The winner will face Democrat Kelley Standley in the general election.

Before he makes major changes, Starr said, he plans to sit down with deputies and staff to see what changes they would make. Starr said he will look at all existing procedures and policies.

Starr worked for the Chanute Police Department and retired as major. He held the ranks of officer, patrol sergeant and detective, was team leader of the Chanute Sexual Response Team, and was in charge of the police lab team.

“We continued education constantly,” Starr said.

Starr said he wants to work with other cities and counties and will discuss financing through the county attorney’s office for training and head cameras.

“I am a working boss,” Starr said. “I don’t just sit behind a desk.”

He said he has listened to the community and gets involved.

“That’s one thing I definitely will do.”

On the 911 system issue, Starr said Chanute joined with the sheriff’s office years ago, but he will not argue with someone who thinks he can do better.

Officers who gain local experience then leave for higher pay is an issue everywhere.

“Any profession that you have to wear a gun to work doesn’t pay enough,” he said. He said he would include jailers and secretaries, and as a whole would fight for better pay.

Starr said profiling and differential treatment based on race is not acceptable. He said he would seek a citizens’ review board as a forum in addition to current grievance procedures.

“Every agency should have that,” he said.

Starr does not foresee conflict with other departments and said he plans better communication and believes it will go smoothly.

“The citizens of Neosho County will like it,” Starr said.

One of his plans is to deputize all law enforcement in the county. He said it is time to use everything at his disposal and not be tied down.


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