Dan’s Platform

Current Issues

No Speed Cameras

You’re a citizen, not a source of revenue.  The constitution says we have a right to face our accuser; however, the speed cameras deny you due process.  If the camera issue was about safety, why can we go 11 mph over the speed limit before the camera takes a photo of the vehicles license plate and a citation is mailed to the registered owner?

There will always be some people who choose to drink and drive, speed, or run red lights. The majority of drivers, however, choose to drive safely and to consider other drivers. We should never infringe upon the privacy of citizen’s as a result of poor choices made by a few.

Polk County has too few deputies on duty to cover the largest county, per capita, in the state. I am certain that the majority of people would prefer to have their tax dollars spent to hire more deputies than to purchase more cameras to take pictures of them throughout the county. An unoccupied car or a mounted camera cannot provide assistance or protection so as Sheriff I would discontinue their use.

Exercising Fiscal Discipline

The Sheriff is a steward of taxpayer funds and it is vital that the Polk County Sheriff’s Office exercises fiscal discipline.  Dan Charleston, as sheriff, would look for ways to reduce the budget without sacrificing service.  Cost savings can be found through retirements, changing the supervisor to staff ratio, assign fewer take-home cars for positions that don’t require one, and explore alternative work schedules.  One of Dan’s top priorities as Sheriff would be to order an audit of the the entire office to find cost saving methods.

A Common Sense Supervisor to Staff Ratio

The civil service supervisor to deputy ratio, on average, is 1:2.5 while the national average is 1:10.  A large portion of the supervisors are managing themselves.  We continue to lose much needed deputy positions because these positions are being backfilled with supervisors.

We currently have 4 deputies patrolling the entire unincorporated area of Polk County.  There are 2 additional deputies who are contracted in Grimes and Bondurant which cannot leave those cities unless a vital emergency happens.

There is mandatory overtime in the jail, patrol, dispatch and court services because we do not have enough staff.  We are not being responsible with tax payer’s money, and we are jeopardizing the safety of our staff and citizens.

Honoring Your Right to Keep and Bear Arms

The 2nd Amendment says, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

In Iowa it is the responsibility of county sheriffs to issue carry permits to those seeking them.  Dan Charleston applauds the change made in the Iowa code that takes the subjectivity away from the process.  Before county sheriffs had the prerogative to deny permit applications for any reason they wanted.  Now permits must be issued to all who apply unless they are prohibited under Iowa Code 724.8 or 724.26.

Dan Charleston will support your inalienable right to keep and bear arms.

Sensibly Enforcing Immigration Law

The 287(g) program, one of U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) top partnership initiatives, allows a state and local law enforcement entity to enter into a partnership with ICE under a joint Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). The state or local entity then receives delegated authority for immigration enforcement within their jurisdictions.  As a result when someone is arrested for committing an unrelated crime they are held for ICE when their immigration status is discovered.

The current Polk County Sheriff willingly chooses to not join this partnership and thereby doesn’t assist in enforcing immigration law.





Dan will enforce this law, while working together with local jurisdictions, to help make the citizens of Polk County as safe as possible from those who willingly enter our country illegally.

Implement Innovative Law Enforcement

21st Century Law Enforcement requires innovative solutions in order to make the Polk County Sheriff’s Office more effective in our mission to protect and serve the citizens of Polk County.

Some ideas worth considering:

  • Monthly town hall meetings where the community can share concerns or discuss ideas with the sheriff.
  • Implement a community relations unit to enhance our community partnerships with the municipalities and organizations within Polk County that will enhance effective law enforcement.
  • Create a unit to focus on human trafficking that occurs along I-80 and I-35 that will work in conjunction with area law enforcement.
  • Establish an inmate work program in order to utilize the time an inmate is spending in our county jail to assist with work that would help to reduce the financial burden on taxpayers.
  • Engage in a restorative justice initiative in order to reduce recidivism among the inmates we serve in our jail.
  • Initiate a evidence-based “self-arrest” program for warrants served for non-violent financial offenses.
  • Creation of a mobile fingerprint unit as a service to the community.
  • Enhance professional and physical fitness standards for the Sheriff’s Officer personnel.
  • Create a team that will focus strictly on verification and location of sex offenders.
  • Work with area dog shelters allowing vetted inmates to train and care for dogs.

Guiding Principles

Protect and Serve

We all want to live, work and play in a safe and crime-free environment.  We want our property to be protected.  We want to leave our homes without fear.  We must be aggressive in our crime fighting while maintaining the fine balance between security and liberty. We are responsible to protect and respect the unalienable rights of the citizens we serve and the inmates we house and not overstep the authority entrusted to this office by the people we serve.

Problem Solving and Partnerships

Partnering with the private sector, our neighborhood associations, and other community groups is key to tackling long-term problems. Addiction, poverty, and mental health issues all contribute to crime problems. A first responder can stop the immediate crisis, but partnerships are crucial in attacking the underlying causes of crime.  We must be innovative in our law enforcement and look for common-sense solutions to the challenges we face in order to fulfill our mission with the limited resources we are stewards of.

Professionalism and Accountability

Polk County taxpayers expect and deserve a well-trained sheriff’s office.   A law enforcement organization cannot expect to grow and prosper if its members do not grow in professional development. It is vital that members of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to serve with integrity and humility doing the right thing on every call in the community and with every inmate in the jail.  When we fall short of that standard we should admit it and work to fix it.  The Polk County Sheriff’s Office must provide fiscal transparency and serve with honesty, accountability, trustworthiness, respect, loyalty, and fairness.