LaPorte County Sheriff’s Sgt. Al Ott officially entered the race for sheriff on Jan. 31, 2014, at the LaPorte County Courthouse. Ott will be on the Democratic ballot in the county primary election, which will be held May 6, 2014.
Ott stated in a press release that he has two primary goals:
– Address the drug problem in LaPorte County
– Bring back civility within the sheriff’s department
“We need to approach the drug issue by increasing the number of officers in the Metro unit,” Ott said. “No additional county funding is needed; we need to take a look at each department and see where officers need to be utilized the most. Can we eliminate the drug problem? No. But we can certainly make it more difficult for dealers to distribute their drugs in LaPorte County. We need to become proactive instead of reactive.
“Communication is key. Currently, there is a lack of communication within our department, with outside police agencies, with local government officials, and with the community. It’s past time to return to civility between government agencies, between our department members, and between our department and the public we serve. We have to work together as a community and this requires a sheriff who is approachable and willing to work with both sides of the table to improve the safety of the citizens of LaPorte County. We need professional law enforcement delivered with respect and civility, strengthened by education, training and high standards,” Ott said.
Ott is a lifelong resident of LaPorte County. He and his wife of 16 years, Jami (Van Slyke), have two daughters, Riley and Ryin. Ott is a 10-year LaPorte County 4-H member and continuing supporter. He is a 1994 graduate of Ball State University.
Ott worked as a LaPorte County Jail officer from 1994-1997. He graduated with honors from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in 1998 and was hired by former LaPorte County Sheriff Bob Blair as a patrolman. In 2000 he was assigned to the Detective Bureau, where he worked for 11 years. During this time he was appointed to the Juvenile Advisory Board. In 2011 he was promoted to sergeant, where he currently supervises the midnight shift.
Ott is a firearms instructor for the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield, IN, as well as at the sheriff’s department. He is a 10-year member of the Governor’s Top Twenty in the IPFTA and a 9-year participant in the National Police Shooting Championships. He has volunteered as a coach for numerous years for the LaPorte YMCA, and has volunteered since 2006 for the LaPorte Community School Corporation at Kingsbury School, discussing safety issues in his daughters’ classrooms. He is a member of LaPorte Moose Lodge 492.
Ott was nominated Policeman of the Year by VFW Post 9423 in November 2013. He has 20 years of service with the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department.
“This is my community; it has been my entire life,” Ott said. “Our problems are my problems and I make only one promise to the people of LaPorte County: I will do my best and never violate their trust and confidence if elected.”