Kelly Prater seeks to fill Sheriff vacancy

Kelly Prater, the assistant director at the Kosciusko County Work Release Center,  announced plans to run for sheriff in the upcoming Republican caucus.

Prater, 47, has worked for the county for 14 years.

He is one of six candidates who have announced intentions to fill the vacancy created when Aaron Rovenstine was forced out of office following a felony conviction.

The Republican caucus will be June 21.

Prater worked for 10 years as a jail officer where his duties included overseeing the inmate classification system as well as being responsible for paperwork and billing with the Department of Corrections, according to a news release provided by Prater.

He said he views the county jail as the biggest liability for any sheriff’s department.

“With my past experience and knowledge of the jail system, I feel the community and staff members of the sheriff’s department would benefit with me becoming sheriff,” Prater said.

As part of his work with the county, Prater was employed for more than three years as a court security officer, which involved working with the prosecutor, child support office, clerk’s office, probation department and the court systems.

“I have a great relationship with each of these departments, and I’m confident that each would give positive feedback as to the job I performed and my strong worth ethic,” Prater said.

He also previously served as a part-time school resource officer for the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation.

“If I am appointed as sheriff of Kosciusko County, I promise to bring not only my experience, but my enthusiasm and hard work ethic to the job. I believe that enthusiasm and hard work are beneficial to any type of job, especially for a job that involves so much interaction with the community,” he said.

Prater was born and raised in Kosciusko County, and graduated from Warsaw Community High School. He and his wife, Jen, have two children.

Previous to working with the county, his background included 10 years in sales, finance and management.

Prater is one of three within the department seeking the post.

Others include Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Sgt. Det. Joshua Spangle; William “Rocky” Goshert, who is currently serving as interim sheriff and was previously elected to the post; Louis “Bill” Brown, a retired Indiana State Police trooper; Kyle Dukes, a state police trooper, and Jordan Foreman, a former Warsaw police detective.

Rovenstine was forced out of office after being sentenced on a single felony intimidation charge in May. He had originally faced 10 indictments.