Powder River Examiner -

Allen Drane, Jr. Interview


October 25, 2018

In anticipation of the election on November 6th, The Examiner sent out interview questions to the local candidates. Though all of the local elections are un-opposed for the general election, we felt that an introduction would be newsworthy and informative for the readers. The local candidates on the ballot include: Lee Randall, County Commissioner, Allen Drane, Jr., Sheriff/Coroner, Pat Phillippi, Treasurer, Cynde Jo Gatlin, Clerk & Recorder, Cathy Landa, Justice of the Peace, Jeff Noble, County Attorney, Molly Lloyd, Superintendent of Schools, and Phoebe Amsden, Public Administrator. We've included the first three candidates this week. The responses have been printed with minimal editing.

My parents are Allen Drane and Vickie (Dodd) Drane. My father's family started Drane Drilling in the 40's. I learned recently that many did not know that the Buckskin Motel was originally owned by my great-grandparents as Camper's Motel. My mother's parents, Dempsey and Vivian, were known to many in the area. From sheepherder to bartender, Dempsey left an impression on all he met.

A lifelong resident of Powder River County, I graduated from PRCHS in 1985. I enlisted in the Army in 1987 and spent 4 years as an MP. Upon leaving the service in 1991 I returned home and worked various jobs including with my father in the family business, bartending for J.O. and Jackie Washington, ranch work for Slug Mills and Chris and John Mangen. I met my wife, Melani, in 1992 and we married in 1994. In 1995 we had our first daughter, Raevyn. In 1997 I re-enlisted in the Army, this time as a motor transport operator. We were stationed at Fort Polk, LA, where we welcomed our second daughter, Taylore, in 1998. We returned home in 2000, and I again worked for Mangens. Our youngest daughter, Kylee, was born in 2001. I eventually joined my dad in the family business until I began working for Rosebud County Sheriff's Office as a deputy in Ashland in 2010. I worked there until I took office as Sheriff of Powder River County in 2015. This first term in office has been a learning experience, hopefully I never stop learning.

I have recently completed a course that allows me to apply for my Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate, which requires an additional 400 hours of training beyond the Law Enforcement Officer Basic course.

Goals or changes you would like to implement in the next term.

We have made substantial progress in making updates to several aspects of the Sheriff's Office and its operation to bring the office to current standards. The 911 system is up to date, meeting NextGen requirements. The dispatch center's technology has received substantial updates. We have been able to provide more hours of coverage than previously with the addition of a full-time certified officer.

All officers completed the Law Enforcement Officer Basic course within the last 8-9 years. While this means each has up to date training currently, continuing education and training is a priority. The "jobs" of law enforcement, standard procedures, laws, and safety protocols are always changing. Officers must complete 20 hours of training every two years to retain their certification. I would like to exceed this, utilizing trainings that will ensure officers remain current and meet industry standards in all aspects of our jobs. I believe this is key to providing the best service possible to the citizens of Powder River County and keeping officers as safe as possible and focused on their duties.

Drugs are a huge problem in our nation, our state, and our area. Both Wyoming and South Dakota made substantial arrests on roadways this summer, seizing substantial amounts of drugs being transported. Montana laws differ from our neighbors', creating some obstacles for officers. One officer has attended a drug interdiction course. I plan to have each officer attend this course to increase our tools in drug enforcement.

I would like to provide more education to our community to keep them and their loved ones safe. Drugs and human trafficking are the first two issues I want community members, particularly parents, to be educated about. Even communities as small as ours are at risk of being targeted for human trafficking. Every community in our nation is at risk of drug related deaths. My biggest goal, for the next four years and beyond, is to not have either of these happen in our community.

Lastly, I would like every citizen of our community to know that the criminal justice system, the Sheriff's Office, is here to serve each of them.


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