Leavenworth County Sheriff Zoellner not seeking third term; Capt. Dedeke files for seat
A longtime member of the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office looks to replace another longtime member of the department in its top position.
Leavenworth County Sheriff Dave Zoellner is not planning to run for a third term, but Capt. Andy Dedeke, who has worked in the department for 20 years, plans to run for the position. He filed last week, County Clerk Janet Klasinski confirmed. Dedeke is a Republican.
Dedeke, 41, started with the department in 1992 as a deputy in the jail division.
The captain said that Zoellner is "supportive of me running."
Zoellner, who is a Democrat, has worked in the department for 43 years.
Dedeke is a 1989 Leavenworth High School graduate who received an associate’s degree in law enforcement from Kansas City Kansas Community College.
The captain said he has been privileged to have daily interaction with the sheriff and Undersheriff Ron Cranor on the business side of the office dealing with budgets, proposals and large purchases.
“With that in mind, the next logical step, I believe, is for me to pursue the office of sheriff,” Dedeke said. “It is something that I have thought of for some time.”
Dedeke said he wanted to build on the “successes we’ve enjoyed as a sheriff’s department.” He said the department has done a good job of staying up-to-date with current technology. For instance, the department has a software system launching soon that will consolidate several systems and allow for quicker entering of information.
Zoellener has been conservative with spending, Dedeke said. He plans to follow suit if elected.
“I applaud that,” Dedeke said. “I think that’s the same course we need to follow in.”
Dedeke said a challenge facing the department is the issue of animal control.
“Quite honestly, we’re not set up for that,” Dedeke said.
There are statutory requirements that the department respond to certain animal calls, which, Dedeke said the department does consistently. But to be full-fledged animal control, Dedeke said the department currently isn’t equipped for such duties.
“So there has to be a funding mechanism for that,” Dedeke said. “There has to be a decision made as far as who is responsible for that.
“I think that’s going to be a problem until it reaches a conclusion that everyone can live it.”
Dedeke and his wife, Wendy, have three children: daughters Brenna, 17, and Grace, 12, and son, Chase, 8.