News
Meet Chad Koranda, Pierce Co. Sheriff candidate

By Sarah Nigbor

As Pierce County Sher- iu Nancy Hove prepares to retire in January, just who is Chad Koranda, the sole candidate running to take her place? He’d be glad to tell you.

Koranda, who will be on the Aug. 9 ballot for the Republican party, has been employed with the Pierce Coun- ty Sheriu's Ovce full-time since April 2005. His entire law enforcement career has been spent with Pierce County.

“I started as a dispatcher and jailer,” Koranda said. “I am currently a Patrol Sergeant. Along with being a Patrol Sergeant I am our department’s Use of Force Instructor or otherwise known as DAAT Instructor (Defense and Arrest Tactics).”

His resume includes being a member of the county’s Emergency Response Unit and a search specialist with Project Lifesaver. He’s cer- tified to instruct general pa trol and jail curriculum. But there is one role for which he is most recognized when out in the community. Koranda is known to Pierce County’s youth as Ovcer Chad; he's served as the D.A.R.E. ov cer for the past eight years and is beloved by area school children.

His enthusiasm for his career hasn’t diminished in 17 years. There’s one thing that he credits that to.

“My love of people. I enjoy meeting new people from all diuerent aspects of life," he said. “I feel that fostering relationships with people is worth more than any paycheck or amount of money.

“From a young age I always wanted to help people and law enforcement provided the best vehicle to do that. I’ve been very lucky to have met a number of people that have helped me mature and become the person I am today.”

Koranda admits that like everyone else, he’s not perfect. But with the help of others, he’s been able to reach goals he’s set for himself

See KORANDA, Page 9

Pierce County Patrol Sgt. And D.A.R.E. Officer Chad Koranda with his twin daughters at the Pierce County Dairy Breakfast. He is running unopposed for Pierce County Sheriff. Photo courtesy of Chad Koranda Koranda

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that prepare him to be Pierce County's next sheriu. "Being a law enforcement ovcer has allowed me through service to give back to all of those that have given so much to me," he said. "It has also allowed me to be part of something bigger than myself. Part of a team. Growing up I was always involved in team sports which continued with me through college at UW-River Falls where I was a member of the foot – ball team." When asked who his biggest role models have been, the answer is easy: his parents Butch and Carol. He credits them for keeping him grounded when he needed to "be brought down a notch" while always remaining supportive. "My parents have been brutally honest with me and have taught me that I am responsible for my decisions," he said. "I am still amazed at their ability to make meaningful relation – ships with everyone. My parents truly embodied the 'treat others the way you want to be treated' motto. No matter who the person was if they treated my parents with respect and kindness, that is what they received in return." Koranda was born in St. Paul and his parents have lived in the same house for 51 years. He has lived in River Falls since 1998 and he and wife Maureen reside there with twin daugh – ters Lauren and Claire, who are 4.5 years old. He graduated from UW-River Falls with a Bachelor of Arts in geography and minors in criminal justice and cartography. He was a member of the UW-River Falls football team and a WIAC Men's Scholastic Honor Roll recipient. He's also at – tended Northwestern University's Center for Public Safety in Evanston, Ill., and multiple other law enforcement trainings. The job

Koranda loves that his job gives him a variety of things to tackle; no day is ever the same. As the D.A.R.E. ovcer of the county, he can have a direct impact on area youth. Each year he teaches the D.A.R.E. curriculum to close to 3,800 students. "In addition, to being a D.A.R.E ovcer I'm also a Use of Force instructor and member of our Emergency Response Unit (ERU)," he said. "One of the best examples of this is a story I tell about being involved in an ERU callout. During the callout myself and two other members navigated a corn field at 2 a.m. using night vision. Once at our location we provided overwatch on a RV that was believed to have an un –

known number of occupants. Following the successful com – pletion of the callout I then had to go to a local school and read Deputy Frank to five diuerent Kindergarten classes." Being a police ovcer provides unique challenges every day, he added. He calls it the most dynamic job there is. "A police ovcer needs to wear many diuerent hats. We are required to enforce laws to keep people safe, counsel in – dividuals in crisis and help others in various ways. An ovcer needs to change demeanor and mindset in a split second," Koranda said. "Being a police ovcer requires some of the best communication and relationship skills of any profession. It is sales and marketing, wrapped up in a job that deals with the most dynamic, unpredictable and sometimes volatile enti –

ty known … Humans."

Why sheri?

Koranda made the decision to run for sheriu because he believes his career and educational history have prepared him well. Law enforcement across the country is going through many changes and he's ready. "Our world is becoming more and more global every day and I feel that my ability to make relationships with all types of people is key," he said. "I grew up in the inner city and have now started my own family in Pierce County. I believe this has allowed me to understand and relate to people no matter what their race, sex, age, legal or economic status is.

"I see myself being very accessible to the people of the county. No matter what my political avliation is for the elec – tion I am everyone's Sheriu." In Koranda's eyes, the sheriu needs to be dependable, personable, resourceful, honest and versatile. He needs to be dependable to manage the county's most important resource: its employees, he said. Being approachable and personable and making relationships that help the department will in turn help him be resourceful with the budget he'll oversee. Koranda has put a lot of thought into what goals he has for the sheriu position. He wants to provide an atmosphere where employees are empowered to make good decisions. He believes that empowerment will come from an increased fo – cus on training and acceptance of law enforcement's current trends. "Law enforcement is changing and I want the employees of Pierce County to be excited and confident in their abilities to change," he said. Another focus will be school safety. He would like to or – ganize and complete a comprehensive school safety plan for the entire county. He envisions at least quarterly meetings between all law enforcement agencies with school stau and administration. "The plan would include focused patrols of school areas to increase visibility while not disrupting day-to-day opera – tions," Koranda explained. "Comprehensive plans on how to gain access to schools when needed and how to use current technology like Closed Circuit Cameras for safety and secu –

rity.

"When I started on Patrol one of our focuses during train – ing was driving by all of the banks in the county to become familiar should there be a robbery. Law enforcement has changed and now our focus should be on schools and be – coming familiar with them. I want it to be widely known that schools in Pierce County are ou limits for any type of crimi – nal activity or drama. Any forms of disorderly behavior will be met with an appropriate response." Why vote for him?

Koranda is confident he's right for the job because of his ability to foster and maintain relationships with all diuerent types of people, regardless of their race, sex, age, legal or economic status.

"I am willing to listen to all diuerent perspectives and make decisions based on the information and facts provid – ed about a situation," he said. "I have honed this skill with 17 years of service with the Pierce County Sheriu's Ovce. There isn't a part of the department that I haven't been in – volved with or learned from. "Currently I am a Patrol Sergeant. I have developed strong oral and written communication skills through my frequent interaction with co-workers, members of the community and county detainees. My current position requires that I routine – ly answer emergency calls, administer first aid, and aid other ovcers. Performing these duties and a host of others with such frequency has strengthened my ability to remain com – posed and professional in critical and hostile situations. As a 10-year member of our ERU team I've been able to see these skills in use many times." Furthermore, as a supervisor, he has evaluated and strengthened his leadership skills. He also believes his studies in geography, which included economic, social and cultur – al geography, combined with criminal justice training, have given him a strong understanding of people representing diuerent races, genders, cultures, ages, and socio-economic groups.

"Above all, I have a real passion for working with people and serving the community that I call home," he said. "I am just like everyone else in Pierce County. I have my own strug – gles that I fight through every day. I've made mistakes in my life and have had to deal with the consequences. I am far from perfect but have been blessed in my life with great people that surround me and have helped me mature.

"Being the Sheriu will allow me to repay all that has been given to me." To learn more about Koranda and his campaign, visit his website at ckoranda4sheriu.com, find him on Facebook at Chad Koranda For Sheriu, or email him at ckoranda4sher – [email protected] You can also find him at all county parades this summer and at the Republican booth at the Pierce County Fair on Friday and Saturday. "I would also love to come talk or meet and greet anyone upon request. Just message me at the email or Facebook and I'll be there," he said.

Chad Koranda has served in multiple roles within the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department during his 17-year law enforcement career. Photo courtesy of Chad Koranda

August 2, 2022