The remaining candidates met in Latimer Wednesday night to let the public know what they can bring to the Sheriff’s Department. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department has seen better days.
November’s election is right around the corner, and candidate, Bruce Lynd, has identified the problem and is ready for the challenge. Lynd says, "Some of the employees in the Sheriff’s Department have lost their integrity. Once you lose your integrity in law enforcement, you can never get it back, and it’s bringing down the morale of the good employees there."
Lynd’s hat isn’t the only one in the ring. It’s going to take a strong hand and a good leader to bring order to the department. Jeff Barnes and Shelia Smallman both feel they’re the one for the job. Barnes says, "The Sheriff has got to go in from day one and say, ‘These are the rules, these are what we’re going to do, and if you can’t follow these rules, then ladies and gentlemen, I bid you farewell.’”
Smallman says, "You can’t just talk about gaining trust, you have to actually implement a plan and lead by example."
Every candidate has varying degrees of law enforcement experience, and they urge voters to do their research and chose the candidate that best represents what they want in a sheriff. One thing they all agree on is that communication with their other officers is the key to success. Scott McIlrath, another Sheriff candidate, says, "Every person that represents the Sheriff’s Department is going to understand the vision is for where I will take us, what my plan is, how we are going to get there, and how that plan involves them."
The November special election is less than two weeks away, and all six candidates are campaigning furiously to get their message out to the public. Mike Ezell, another candidate for Sheriff, says, "I live and work for the people of this county. I enjoy being a police officer. I love my job. I’ve had a great career and I will bring all that enthusiasm and hard work to the Sheriff’s Office."
Bob Cochran, another candidate the Sheriff’s race, closes, "I care: integrity, character, accountability, responsibility, and ethics, and that’s been my campaign from day one."
The special election is November 4th and candidates hope for a high voter turnout.