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Juvenile Probation Officer Will Run For Sheriff’s Office Formerly A Captain For Pierce Clegg, Thompson First Democrat In Race

A juvenile probation officer on Tuesday became the second former sheriff’s captain to announce his candidacy for Kootenai County sheriff.

Karl Thompson, 48, of Hayden Lake, also became the first Democrat to announce his bid to unseat two-term Sheriff Pierce Clegg - the man who hired him.

Thompson said he plans to make juvenile crime, drug prevention, community policing and innovative leadership the focus of his campaign.

Thompson, who was hired by Clegg in 1989, spent six years as a captain in charge of operations and the jail. He resigned in May 1995, citing communication and leadership differences between himself and the sheriff.

“I have ideas about leadership … and the first three years I think Pierce was receptive,” Thompson said. “But the bright flame that was a spirit I felt working there really started to dim after a while.”

Thompson was awarded the Bronze Star while serving in Vietnam. He began law enforcement as a Los Angeles police officer in 1969 and then moved his family to Kootenai County in 1979. He now works with high-risk youth and serious offenders in the juvenile justice system.

He has worked as a special agent for the Idaho Department of Law Enforcement and spent a total of eight years at the sheriff’s department.

He outlined some of the following changes he would like to see in the sheriff’s department:

Better communication within the sheriff’s department and with community groups.

A victims’ advocacy program to provide help for victims of domestic violence and other crimes.

Create a citizens academy that would have senior volunteers help the sheriff’s department make vacation checks on homes.

Create an alliance between the sheriff’s department and youth organizations to prevent juvenile crime.

Tom Dickson, a Republican and former sheriff’s captain who was fired in 1994, also is running for sheriff.

Paul Telebar, a code enforcement officer for the city of Coeur d’Alene, also is running as a Republican.

Clegg, a Republican, has not announced whether he will seek a third term.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo

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