Graves set to seek another term as sheriff
Graves, 57, was first elected Walworth County sheriff in 2000, replacing Dean McKenzie, who served as sheriff from 1986 through 2000.
"I think we have achieved a lot as a department, and there is a lot more we can do," said Graves, whose seat is up for election this fall.
Graves, a Republican, has served at the sheriff's office as patrolman (1976-88), sergeant of patrol (1988-89), lieutenant assigned as assistant jail administrator and patrol commander (1989-95) and undersheriff (1995-2000).
Graves worked previously at the Whitewater Police Department, where he started as a police aid in 1972 and was promoted to patrolman in 1973.
This year has been busy for the sheriff's office, especially the SWAT team, which the sheriff established in the 1990s. Deputies responded to three standoffs in the first months of the year. All three incidents ended with nobody hurt.
Jail crowding will be an issue for the next sheriff. County officials are looking for ways to solve crowding at the jail, located on County NN. Graves said the goal is to avoid building by looking at alternatives such as electronic monitoring and offender rehabilitation.
"Nobody wants to add staff in these critical economic times," the sheriff said. "We can figure out ways to get alternative programs to incarceration for the less serious offenders."
In recent years, Graves said his department has invested in community-focused policing by placing liaison deputies in each town, an effort he hopes to expand if elected.
Another successful program was switching funding of Alpine Valley security from taxpayers to concertgoers, he said.
Graves is a graduate of the FBI Academy, Northwestern University's School of Police Staff and Command, and he has an associate's degree in criminal justice.
"Walworth County is my home, it means a lot to me, and this is why I'm running again," Graves said. "I still have a lot to offer as sheriff."