Sexton seeking change in race for sheriff

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 3, 2000

Republican challenger Tim Sexton of Coal Grove wants to make a change in county law enforcement as he contends for the Lawrence County sheriff’s seat this fall.

Tuesday, October 03, 2000

Republican challenger Tim Sexton of Coal Grove wants to make a change in county law enforcement as he contends for the Lawrence County sheriff’s seat this fall.

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Sexton will battle Democrat incumbent Roy Smith on Nov. 7.

"I’ve got a broad background and I feel I can be a leader in law enforcement in this county," Sexton said. "I have 19 years of law enforcement experience and I want to become a leader who makes sure all of Lawrence County is serviced."

The Republican candidate said his career in law enforcement began as a communications officer for the Ohio Highway Patrol.

"I began my career as a cadet dispatcher before I went on to the Ohio Highway Patrol Academy," he said. "I was a graduate of the 112th Academy and served as a trooper for a number of years. Today, I have over 1,500 hours of professional law enforcement training and education."

He met and married his wife, the former Gina Dutey, shortly after his law enforcement career began, he added.

"My wife and I have two children," he said. "Tyler, our son, is 13 and our daughter, Taylor, is nine."

In 1993, Sexton became the chief investigator for Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr.

Since that time, he has played key rolls in implementing several law enforcement programs in the county, Sexton said.

"I was very instrumental in forming a multi-disiplinary child abuse investigative team through a grant from the U.S. Department of Juvenile Justice," he said. "I was the coordinator of that program for two years. I was the recipient of a law enforcement award from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 1998."

He said he began having concerns for many of the drug crimes in the county and formed the Lawrence County Drug Task Force in 1997.

"I applied for and received a grant to form the drug task force here in the county," Sexton said. "I have been responsible for more than 100 arrests for drug crimes."

The current sheriff’s department has room for improvement, he said.

"There’s no leadership in the sheriff’s office and a total lack of accountability," he said. "My administration will certainly have accountability. I think that with my capabilities, I can take the sheriff’s office to a higher level of public service."

An increase in efficiency will take precedent, he added.

"We will get out there in the rural areas of the county," Sexton said. "We will investigate their crimes and become committed to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for violent crimes."

Placing drug prevention and education programs in schools and communities will also become a priority, he said.

"The programs that were once in Lawrence County will come back to Lawrence County," Sexton said. "All it takes is time and effort and that’s something I’m willing to put forth. These are programs that are proven to reduce crime and I plan to reimplement them."

A sheriff substation is another objective, he added.

"I’m a firm believer that police presence detours crime," Sexton said. "I would like to see a small office placed in Rome Township to give officers a place to conduct interviews and eventually other business."