Scott Schaier for Sheriff? Not so much.

Why didn’t former Bend Police Chief Jim Porter recommend Schaier to replace him when he retired? Simple: Schaier isn’t ready for the job.

Yet Porter would have us elect Scott Schaier for Deschutes County’s next sheriff.

Don’t be persuaded by Porter’s endorsement.

Mr. Schaier may have a lot of enthusiasm, good ideas, and potential as a young police officer.  But his actual qualifications fall short of my standards for electability to the office of sheriff. 

I want a highly qualified, highly experienced, well educated professional in any top cop job.  And I want a cop I can trust.  Sheriff Shane Nelson fits all of those criteria.  Scott Schaier does not.

Qualifications:  Sheriff Nelson vs. Scott Schaier

According to The Bulletin and Mr. Schaier’s candidate filing with Deschutes County, Schaier has 11 years of experience in law enforcement.  Sheriff Nelson has 27 years.

Schaier and Nelson: Nice doggy, but Schaier’s photo is a cheesy attempt to sway voters’ emotions in his favor, like rhetoric and propaganda. Do a little critical thinking, and Schaier’s pooch is clearly irrelevant. Credit: candidates’ photos, submitted to The Bulletin and reproduced here.

Mr. Schaier’s government experience is limited to basic policing.  None of it is in administration, supervision, or management.  Neither is Mr. Schaier experienced in jail operations, which include clinical care, facilities maintenance, contracts with private businesses, and other complexities.

Sheriff Nelson’s government experience is both broad and deep.  He has supervised, commanded, and managed people throughout most of his career.  His experience reaches across all operations of a sheriff’s office, including patrol, jail, and detective work as well as civil services, search and rescue operations, and special services.

Mr. Schaier is not a college graduate.  Sheriff Nelson holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University.

Officer Schaier holds an Intermediate Certificate in law enforcement from the Oregon DPSST.

Sheriff Nelson has more, and more advanced professional training:

  • Department of Public Safety Standards and Training – Executive Certificate, Management, Supervisory, Advanced, Intermediate, and Basic Certificates
  • Department of Public Safety Standards and Training – Management Course
  • Mark Hatfield School of Government, Portland State University- “Supervision in the Public Sector”
  • Graduate of Class #2 Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association Command College
  • Graduate of Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association New Sheriffs’ Institute
  • Graduate of the 2012 Leadership Bend Class

Schaier’s Questionable Claims

Mr. Schaier claims he has prior experience managinglarge, multi-million dollar budgets.” He reports on his Deschutes County Filing Form that he was a sales manager for six years.  We learn from The Bulletin that his sole position of “management” was in his family’s business, an auto dealership in southern California.  The Bulletin also tells us that Mr. Schaier went to work in that job after he graduated from high school.

But what did Mr. Schaier’s job as sales manager actually entail?

We have no specifics about Mr. Schaier’s management experience or responsibilities.  We don’t know anything about his formal supervisory training, or even if he had any.  Neither do we know details about any formal “management” training he may have received; nor his responsibilities for those million-dollar budgets; nor even any details of what those budgets entailed.

We don’t know how many people Mr. Schaier formally supervised or managed (not the same thing) in a pay period, a given year, or in total.  Nor do we know how his employer evaluated his performance; nor why Mr. Schaier left a good management position after six years to become a beat cop in Las Vegas.

In short, we cannot confirm for ourselves that Mr. Schaier’s “management” experience has even remotely prepared him for the responsibilities of Deschutes County Sheriff.

Here’s what we do know:

The Bulletin reports that Mr. Schaier is 36 years old.  He claims a total of 17 years work experience (six in auto sales and 11 as a cop).

Simple arithmetic tells us that Mr. Schaier would have been only 19 years old when he became sales manager.

Unless he wasn’t really a manager for the six years he suggests.

It’s not likely that many businesses other than a family business would hire a newly-minted high school graduate as an actual manager.  In the worlds of both government and business, management is very serious work. Few 19 year-olds are ready for those kinds of responsibilities, except perhaps in the eyes of their parents. Few cops ever get to the level and responsibilities of management at all.

Not a lot of businesses with multi-million dollar budgets would put a new employee, fresh out of high school, with no college education and no significant work experience of any kind yet, in charge of multi-million dollar budgets. And neither would that happen in the Las Vegas Metro PD. Nor the Bend PD. Nor the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, I would fervently hope.

I’d question the truthfulness of anybody who claimed that he went straight from high school into a multi-million dollar business to “manage” anything, in any significant way.  Perhaps in simple custodial services, night shift at a burger joint, maybe night clerk at a motel or the like. Limited technology systems, maybe so.  But people, budgets, operations, or businesses – not so much. I’d need independent verification for that claim, and I mean independent.

Such an employee would have had no time to learn any actual supervisory or management skills before he was employed by his family.

No time to acquire significant full-time work experience of any kind.

No time to handle and solve significant business or life problems.

No time to learn from his successes and failures.

No time to develop and mature into a responsible adult.

And that would be Scott Schaier’s stint as sales manager. Scott Schaier, ostensibly responsible for “multi-million dollar budgets” in his family’s auto sales business.

And, Mr. Schaier would have us believe, as he himself believes, that at that tender young age and in a mere six years, he perfected his “style” of management and leadership.  As if it’s a fait accompli. Scott Schaier, save us from calamity. Scott Schaier vs. the world.

I find it easier to believe that either Mr. Schaier was, perhaps, a manager trainee, or was under significant supervision himself, or that he just didn’t have the kinds of experience he suggests on his campaign website, on his Deschutes County Filing Form, and in his newspaper interviews.

But Scott Schaier isn’t prepared for Chief Porter’s old job, and he isn’t prepared for Shane Nelson’s job either.

Don’t be fooled.

Who convinced Scott Schaier that he’s ready for the job?

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