Editor’s Note: This article is the first in a series featuring candidates for Otoe County Sheriff for 2018.
Jeff Lant recently announced he is running again for Otoe County Sheriff in 2018. After a hard-fought campaign in 2014 against incumbent Sheriff Jim Gress, Lant lost by 302 out of 5,344 votes cast.
Undeterred by the loss, Lant is determined to run a proactive campaign and win the 2018 election.
When Lant ran in 2014, he felt God had specifically called him to do so.
“This time, I felt a freedom and permission to pursue the desire of my heart, which is to serve Otoe County,” Lant states.
His family and co-workers in the law enforcement community are very supportive of Lant’s latest campaign.
Lant is currently a senior sergeant with the Nebraska City Police Department, where he also serves as training coordinator.
With 20 years of service with the NCPD, Lant ranks third in the department, below the police chief and police captain.
Prior to working for NCPD, Lant served four years active duty in the Air Force in a security position and as a policeman in the Air National Guard. He holds an associate’s degree in criminal justice and a bachelor’s degree in management.
Lant and his wife of 24 years, Angie, own a rental property business, have raised 4 daughters and volunteer in the community by running the Hungry Soul Soup House during the winter months. Lant was also a deacon at Calvary Community Church for five years.
Running in 2014 on a platform of 24-hour law enforcement coverage for the entire county, Lant is campaigning again to see that promise through. He believes although the sheriff’s department has expanded its coverage since the last election, there is still a small window of time when portions of Otoe County have no law enforcement coverage. If elected, Lant plans small changes in scheduling that will allow for round-the-clock coverage of the entire county.
Lant would also like to implement a leadership structure within the sheriff’s department, including the addition of a criminal investigator. He says the criminal investigator position is key and that hiring a dedicated investigator would help the entire department function more smoothly. The investigator would be responsible for making connections and following up on current investigations. Lant’s goal is to fill the position from within the sheriff’s department.
“We continue to have problems with repeat offenders,” relates Lant. He believes a criminal investigator could review files to ensure the department submits quality reports so prosecutors can put together solid cases.
Patrol districts are another issue Lant campaigned on in 2014, and he still intends to implement them if elected in 2018. He says forming 3 separate patrol districts within the county will allow for better response time, and Lant believes it can be easily accomplished, at no additional cost to the county.
Lant sees his campaign for sheriff as a natural progression of over 20 years of law enforcement service. For him, the bottom line is integrity. He says, “I want to make sure we are doing our jobs to the best of our abilities.”
Although he believes patrol districts and 24-hour law enforcement coverage are crucial issues, Lant is campaigning for Otoe County Sheriff for a larger purpose. He states, “I’m interested in having an influence over the next generation of law enforcement and a lasting impact for the future.”
Upcoming Lant for Sheriff campaign events include the Otoe County Fair and the Applejack Celebration.