ST. CLOUD -- We are continuing our stories with the men running for Stearns County Sheriff. Today WJON news introduces you to Sergeant Steve Soyka.

He was born and raised in St. Cloud and says it has been his dream to be the Stearns County Sheriff since he was in the Explorer Scout program when he was 15 years old.

Soyka says, if he is elected sheriff, his number one goal is to get the department more involved in the communities they serve.

I believe over the years we've kind of built up a wall around us a little bit.  That's a little bit my own opinion but it's also enforced a little bit by me going out into the community and talking to people.  They just don't know their sheriff's office.  So I definitely want to improve our communication with the community.

Soyka says he also wants to be the type of sheriff who is not always in the office and wants to continue to be out on the streets.

Soyka has worked for the Stearns County Sheriff's Office since 1996.  He has 27 years of experience working in law enforcement and he says police work has changed a lot over the years.

When I started in 1991 we didn't worry about terrorism, that wasn't even a thing.  We've always had drugs but we did not have the opioid addiction problems that we have now, the overdose deaths, that kind of thing.  Seems to be a large amount of mental illness type calls.

The four men who are running for sheriff will face each other in the August 14th primary, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election in November.

Stearns County Sheriff Candidates:
Robert Dickhaus - Tuesday
Steve Soyka - Wednesday
Dave Bentrud - Thursday
Dwight Pfannenstein - Friday