Meet the candidates in the race for Milwaukee County sheriff

NOW: Meet the candidates in the race for Milwaukee County sheriff

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin's partisan primary is less than two weeks away. Three candidates are in the race for Milwaukee County sheriff as Earnell Lucas prepares to step down.

All three candidates are Democrats and already hold roles within the sheriff's department. CBS 58's Tajma Hall asked each candidate questions about their plans for crime and violence prevention, staffing shortages within the sheriff's office and correctional facilities, and how they plan to allocate funding, among other key topics.

Denita Ball

Ball currently serves as deputy chief for the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office. Her current role puts her second in command to Sheriff Lucas. Ball has been in this role for about three years, but she has decades of experience in law enforcement and public safety. Before joining the Sheriff's office, Ball served more than 20 years with the Milwaukee Police Department. She also holds educational degrees in criminal justice.

"I believe that I'm the right person for this job," Ball said.

Brian Barkow

Barkow is an inspector and commander for the Investigative Services Bureau at the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office. He's been with the agency since 1997. He started as a deputy sheriff and has worked his way through the ranks over the last two decades. He has experience working closely with programs for alternative incarceration and says it's a passion of his. He wants to create a Community Advisory Council to help tackle crime.

"I have the experience, I have the vision, and I have the strategy, and I the track record for producing results," said Barkow.

Thomas Beal

Beal is a captain for the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office. He's been with the department for more than 25 years. He has held multiple roles throughout the department. He says he's seen a lot of changes throughout the agency during his time. He says he wants to develop a task force within the department for a collaborative approach to tackling the key issues.

"I know this agency inside and out. I care about this community. I want to make changes and I will make changes," said Beal.

The candidates agree that improvements can be made to tackle key issues across the county.

All three candidates expressed importance in transparency and building strong community relationships.

Aug. 9 is primary election day. Since there are no Republicans in the race, whoever wins the primary will become the next sheriff following the November election.

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