Three in GOP primary race for sheriff

Published 10:57 pm Thursday, April 22, 2010

Polk County voters will decide on May 4 which Republican candidate will face current Democratic sheriff Donald Hill in the November election.
Dennis Bishop, Gregg Osteen and Nathan Shields are vying for the Republican Party nomination for Polk County Sheriff in the May 4 primary.
Each of the three candidates has substantial law enforcement experience, including stints working with local law enforcement agencies.
Bishop previously worked for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Osteen has worked special events and weekend patrols for the Tryon Police Department. Shields, who has served in law enforcement as long as the other two candidates combined, has worked for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Tryon, Landrum and Columbus police departments.
Below is background on each of the candidates, as presented by them, in alphabetical order. The Bulletin questioned the candidates on local law enforcement issues and will run their answers in Friday’s edition.
Dennis Bishop
I am a 35- year- old native of North Carolina. I am married to Spring Kuebler Bishop, excellent wife, mother, and a Paramedic with Polk County EMS. We have five wonderful children: Austin, Maddy, Noah, and twins Tanner and Chase. Most of my leisure time is spent enjoying family cook- outs, boating, fishing and working on cars. My family attends Brookwood Church in Greenville, SC. We live in Sunny View in a home that we built from the ground up. We have always loved the area and have always wanted to live and grow old here in Polk County.
I am currently employed as a Patrol Sergeant with the Black Mountain Police Department in Buncombe County, NC. Prior to working at Black Mountain, I held the rank of Sergeant with the Polk County Sheriffs Office. I have a total of eleven years of full-time law enforcement experience.
I graduated from Mt. Heritage High School in 1993, and in 1996 completed Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) at McDowell Technical Community College. In 1998, I also completed NC Correctional Officers Training at McDowell.
Since first beginning in law enforcement, I have completed over 700 hours of in-service and advanced training. My training is in various areas including Management and Leadership, Incident Command, Field Training Officer, Tactical Response and the first -ever Western North Carolina Law Enforcement Leadership Academy which will be completed in June. This training enables me to perform as a better officer and leader today.

Gregg Osteen
I am Gregg Adger Osteen. I am 41 years old and I was born in Hendersonville. I grew up in East Flat Rock and we now live in Green Creek. I was raised by my dad and mom in a Christian home and I accepted Christ as my savior when I was young. I have one brother. I waited till I was 31 years old to get married and I am still happily married today.
I have no children of my own but I have been a step dad to three children and a foster dad to seven children. Four of those children are from Polk County. I believe that I have been a good role model to all of them.
I attended Basic Law Enforcement Training at AB Tech in 1990 and I have now been a certified Law Enforcement Officer for 19 years. I worked as a Henderson County Deputy for six years where I was a Patrol Officer, Detention Officer, Transport Officer, Court liaison and served Civil Process.
I have served this community as a Tryon Police Officer since 1998 working events such as Blue Ridge Barbeque Festival, Super Saturday, Coon Dog Day, and many weekends on patrol after working a 40 hour week for another agency. For the last 10 years I have been working for the Buncombe County Sheriffs Office where I have worked and trained dozens of new officers. I have also supervised more then 20 officers at a time. I have worked with dozens of law enforcement agencies, judges, district attorneys, clerks, social workers, volunteers, investigators, bondsmen and schools. I am also certified as a Patrol Field Training Officer, a First Line Supervisor and a Detention Officer. I have had the desire and the motivation to be Sheriff all my life.

Nathan Shields
My name is Nathaniel Gilbert Shields. I was born and raised in Tryon.
Geraldine, my wife of 27 years, and I have raised our six children here. We attend a local church and are very much a part of the Polk County community.
I have served in Law Enforcement for 30 years, starting with the Tryon Police Department. I have held various positions from police officer to Chief of Police; worked with the Asheville PD, Polk County Sheriffs Office, and Landrum Police Department from police officer to Assistant Chief.
I returned to the Polk County Sheriffs Office to serve with Sheriff David R. Satterfield in 1998, subsequently as Captain of Patrol first in charge in the absence of Sheriff Satterfield and also as Communications Director. I left the sheriffs office in 2006, worked with the Rutherfordton PD, and returned to Polk County with the Columbus Police Department before retiring.
I currently work for Spartanburg Regional Health Care System as a Security Officer II at The Village Hospital in Pelham, SC.
I have also proudly served my country with over 22 years in the military including 4 years active duty Army, raising to the rank of Master Sergeant. I have also served as First Sergeant for the 105th MP Company, currently as the Operations Sergeant for the 210th MP Company, in the North Carolina National Guard (NCNG). I deployed twice to combat zones with the Army NCNG first to Afghanistan and later to Iraq.
I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology/Criminal Justice from Shaw University, and an Associate degree in Physical Education from Arizona Western Junior College. I was a member of the 1972 Junior College Championship Football Team.
I have over 2,000 hours of law enforcement training and Advanced Law Enforcement Certifications in both the Criminal Justice and Sheriffs Standards Commission.

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