Current undersheriff, former police chief face-off for Modoc Co. Sheriff position

Running for Modoc County Sheriff is current undersheriff and former member of the Alturas Police Department, William "Tex" Dowdy and retired Alturas Police Chief Ken Barnes and part-time officer for the department.

A new sheriff will be elected in Modoc County in June and many are wondering if the new sheriff will be able to mend the long-standing rift between the Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney's Office.

The two candidates, current Undersheriff William "Tex" Dowdy, and retired Alturas Police Chief, Ken Barnes, both have extensive law enforcement backgrounds and both have big plans for the department if elected.

Dowdy, who is a former member of the Alturas Police Department, said he's been in law enforcement of 16 years and has been with the Sheriff's Office for four years, two of those as the undersheriff.

"I have worked for the police department for 13 years. Prior to working in the sheriff's office, I learned there's many additional duties beyond patrol. You know one of the main duties at the sheriff's office is running a jail and that in itself can be a very difficult task at these times," said Dowdy.

Barnes, who was the Alturas Police Chief for 15 years, said he knows every aspect of the Sheriff's Office.

"I don't believe two years of management experience at the sheriff's department is going to qualify him (Dowdy) as Sheriff. I know every aspect of management, administration, budgeting, grant writing. I believe that I'm the only qualified candidate on the ballot," said Barnes

Dowdy and Barnes also spoke about their solutions to current problems in the department, both recognizing the need for more deputies.

"One of the most significant things for us right now is, which I think is across the Northstate, is recruitment and retention and one of my focuses, my major focus, will be continuing to recruit additional jail staff, dispatch staff, and patrol staff," said Dowdy.

"I plan on going in and reducing the overhead and putting boots on the ground. Restoring those resident positions. I'm a grant writer, I like to write a lot of grants. Since I've been working with the police department, I've probably wrote close to $3 million in grants for alternative funding and equipment for the city and I plan on continuing that," said Barnes

Dowdy added that efforts are also already being made to repair and strengthen the relationship between the Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney's Office by focusing on what's best for the county.

Both candidates added they will have no issue working with the District Attorney's office.

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