Brian Briley announced in June that he is running for Otoe County Sheriff. Since then, Briley, a deputy with the county since 2003, has been working to build campaign momentum as the field of candidates continues to grow.
Briley grew up in Percival, Iowa, and graduated from Sidney High School. He is married to Kayla and has three children: Josh, Jill and Taylor.
He was an Army Reservist from 1991 – 1999, working as a cook and later, a military police officer.
He worked for the Nebraska City Police Department for 10 months before being hired by the Otoe County Sheriff’s Department.
A long-time community volunteer, Briley has served with the Nebraska City Volunteer Fire Department as well as the Syracuse Rescue Squad. He is also a certified firearms instructor and teaches concealed carry courses.
Continuing education has been a priority for Briley during his time with the sheriff’s office. He is part of the department’s tactical team and initiated Otoe County’s K9 program. He credits Sheriff Jim Gress with providing support for the deputies’ career advancement.
“Jim has been a great boss. He has afforded me the opportunity to do lots of training, whatever I asked for. He’s been that way with everybody in the department,” relates Briley.
Briley has made the K9 program a priority over the past 12 years. The department has purchased six canines during that time, all with funds from private donors.
Not including Nebraska State patrol personnel, he is one of approximately a dozen people statewide who is certified to train K9s and their handlers. If elected, Briley would like to expand Otoe County’s K9 program to include 3-4 dogs, and he plans to continue to fund the program via private donations.
If Briley does mount a successful campaign for sheriff, his priorities include keeping a tight budget, developing better relationships with smaller towns in the county and stepping up community policing with programs like Neighborhood Watch.
With 80-90% of people currently incarcerated in Otoe County on drug-related arrests, Briley sees drug abuse in the county as a crucial issue. He says, “If we can control the drug problem, we can alleviate the other crimes that go along with it. If your passion is working toward fixing the drug problem, as a leader, you instill those values in other employees.”
Briley has spent years networking with federal, state, county and local law enforcement officials. He has also worked to help those individuals and families caught in the cycle of addiction. For him, the hardest part is seeing kids who have been affected by their parents’ drug abuse problems.
If elected, Briley vows to bridge the gap between people dealing with addiction and those in the county who want to provide help. He states, “The more you can get the community involved, the better off you will be.” Briley believes forging better relationships with both community members and those dealing with addiction could lead to fewer arrests, cut the number of prosecutions and save taxpayer dollars.
Briley would also like to add an investigator to the sheriff’s department who would work both criminal and narcotics cases as he believes the two issues are closely connected. He sees good prosecutions as essential and is fully confident in his department’s ability to work well with the county attorney. “I would like to think the guys I work with now are good investigators. We work well as a team. The investigations being done now are thorough,” states Briley.
For Briley, stepping into the role of sheriff seems like a natural progression. He relates, “I believe I am ready for the law enforcement and administrative parts of being sheriff. I know what it’s like to coordinate people to get the job done. I think I have proven myself on the law enforcement side. As sheriff, I plan to lead from the front. I plan to be out there with my guys as often as possible.”
Visibility is key for Briley’s campaign. He plans to go door to door to talk with people and hopes to be involved in as many activities as possible while campaigning. Briley sees the growing field of candidates as a positive thing, stating, “The people will decide who best fits the narrative of the county. Citizens are lucky to have the guys running who are running now.”
Although Briley has numerous priorities he plans to implement if elected, his goals are fairly simple. He hopes to be an approachable leader who makes people feel comfortable enough to talk about issues affecting them. He would like to serve Otoe County until he retires, and he says, “I want to be able to lead my guys in dealing with this epidemic of drugs. I will be a well-rounded sheriff when it comes to the issues, and I have the drive to lead.”
Upcoming Briley for Otoe County Sheriff campaign events include the Applejack Celebration in Nebraska City.