Voters guide: Centre County Sheriff

All candidates were asked to respond to the following question:

What are your three top priorities for this position?

Centre County Sheriff

Term: Four years

Salary: $64,896/year


Bryan Sampsel

Campaign website:

Date of birth: June 30, 1970

Education: 1988, Bellefonte Area High School; 1991-1993, Penn State; Jan. 2004-May 2004, Penn State Justice and Safety Institute.

Occupation: Sgt./deputy sheriff with Centre County Sheriff’s Office

Qualifications: Pennsylvania Army National Guard, six years, awarded Army Achievement Award, awarded two Army Citation Award for leadership skills 1995/1997; nine years Corning Asahi, awarded three Outstanding Contributor awards, Diversity Leadership and Valuing the Individual leader. Centre County Sheriff’s Office; 12 years; currently supervisor/sgt. (four years); field training officer, firearms Instructor, active shooter instructor, drug identification course, assist with Triad; assist Sheriff Nau with Eagle Scouts ceremonies.

Answer to question: I understand the responsibility required for the Sheriff’s Office to perform its many tasks. Therefore, my first priority would be to maintain the level of professionalism and efficiency that Sheriff Nau has established and gather ideas from all court system staff to increase service in the future. My next priority would be to continue to work diligently to reduce the number of warrants by assigning two deputies to work warrants. This would be contingent on our priority to the courts. Lastly, I would continue to build strong working relationships with local law enforcement agencies and assist in any way possible.


Matthew A. Rickard

Campaign website:

Date of birth: Sept. 27, 1976

Education: 1994, Lock Haven High School; Indiana University of PA Act 120, Police Academy

Occupation: Police officer with Bellefonte Police Department

Qualifications: 18 years of law enforcement experience. Twelve years as a sniper and master tactical operator with Centre County Tactical Response Team. Eight years as detective, investigating major narcotics cases and cases ranging from property crimes to homicides. Honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps and honorably discharged from the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.

Answer to question: My top three priorities would include, running and maintaining an ethical and efficient department. Ensuring that we are continuing to operate with the highest level of professionalism and service. Secondly, I would like to explore accreditation. This process would ensure that the department is meeting and/or exceeding a nationally recognized set of standard operating procedures, thus reducing the likelihood of liability suits by assisting the department in its risk management. Lastly, I would like to enhance our working relationships with the many county agencies, local and state law enforcement agencies and all of those we serve.