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Sexton preparing; names chief deputy

Now that he has taken his oath of office, incoming Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton said he’s moving forward with the agenda he stumped while on the campaign trail.

Saturday, December 30, 2000

Now that he has taken his oath of office, incoming Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton said he’s moving forward with the agenda he stumped while on the campaign trail.

And, he’s named a chief deputy – former Huntington, W.Va., police Lt. Gary Akers.

"I think the ultimate statement I can make is, ‘I’ll do my best to be the best sheriff I can be for Lawrence County,’" Sexton said at Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony. "It was a long campaign and there are too many to be named that spent countless hours going from door to door showing support for me."

The sheriff said he is eager to begin fulfilling his promises to the voters – a change.

"I want to start answering the calls and getting out into the rural parts of the county. If the residents don’t see me there, I want them to call me and remind me of my promise to them."

Sexton said many issues need addressed – from "unsolved crimes to officers working traffic" – once he takes office.

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

"My administration will have accountability, unlike in the past," he said. "I think that with my capabilities, I can take the sheriff’s office to a higher level of public service."

Naming a chief deputy also has taken top priority on his agenda, Sexton said.

He announced in a press release Friday that Lt. Akers will serve as the second-in-command under his administration.

"He was chosen as a result of the commitment to bring professional leadership to my administration," Sexton said. "Gary Akers brings a welcomed assortment of experience and leadership skills to the sheriff’s office."

Akers has served the law enforcement community well, he added.

"He has experience from the street level to the supervisory level," Sexton said. "He has a history, commitment, knowledge and experience to the investigation and enforcement of illegal drug trafficking. And that is exactly what the sheriff’s department has made a stronger commitment to."

Akers served as the commander of the Huntington Police Drug Unit, commander of the Huntington Area Violent Crimes/Drug Task Force and commanded the Huntington police SWAT team before he retired from the department as a 22-year veteran in September.

Sexton said an increase in efficiency will also take precedent in his administration.

"I am committed to getting 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. "These are programs that are proven to reduce crime and I plan to reimplement them."

A sheriff’s department 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."