Sheriff candidate ready for change

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 24, 2000

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part one in a three-part series concerning the upcoming Lawrence County Sheriff primary election.

Thursday, February 24, 2000

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part one in a three-part series concerning the upcoming Lawrence County Sheriff primary election.

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Upgrading the county sheriff’s services for all Lawrence County residents is the main goal of republican sheriff’s candidate Tim Sexton.

Sexton, the lone republican candidate, will face the winner of the democratic primary election March 7. Those candidates are current sheriff Roy Smith and candidate and current Chesapeake Police Department chief Russell Bennett.

If elected as sheriff, Sexton, who currently serves as chief investigator at the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office, said he believes he will bring unique qualifications and experience to the job.

"Certainly, the residents of Lawrence County deserve much better service than what they are receiving now," he said. "I often receive calls from people who are not getting responses to their needs or inquiries for assistance from the sheriff’s department."

Sexton said his qualifications go beyond that of his current position as chief investigator.

"I have 18 years in law enforcement – I began my career with the Ohio Highway Patrol," he said. "I have implemented and instructed law enforcement courses at Collins Career Center and served as administrator of the Lawrence County Drug Task Force and of the multi-jurisdictional child abuse team. I also have an excess of 1,500 hours of professional law enforcement education and training."

With a nearly $1.4 million budget this year, the department has the potential for improvements.

"The people certainly deserve more than what they are getting right now for $1.4 million of the tax-payer money," he said. "I know with my background and abilities I can manage those funds better than they are being managed now. I plan to coordinate with all county law enforcement agencies to pool our resources and work harder in fighting crime."

An important part of the battle against crime in the county is crime prevention, he added.

"Fighting crime is certainly my main focus and a very important part of that is preventing crime," he said. "I am going to provide prevention and education programs to our schools and community if I am elected as sheriff."

In addition to a new system of budgeting and increased crime prevention and education programs in the county schools, Sexton said he will keep the same open-door policy in the new office as he has kept in his current one.

"I have an open door policy now, and I’m certainly going to continue to do so," he said. "I want to meet the needs of county residents in a professional and courteous manner."

Part of meeting those needs will be to finish the cases that have gone unsolved in the county, particularly while targeting violent crime.

"Lawrence County has several unsolved homicides," he said. "We need to be putting more effort into these types of violent crimes when they occur"

Sexton, 38, is a 36-year resident of Lawrence County. He and his wife, Gina, who is an Ironton City Schools teacher, are the parents of Tyler, 13, and Taylor, 8.

"I am the only candidate running for sheriff that has experience investigating and prosecuting crime," he said. "I actually have the experience necessary to get the job done and I would appreciate everyone’s support."