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Lawless officially files for sheriff

Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jeff Lawless filed necessary documents Wednesday to run for sheriff next year.

Lawless indicated earlier this year he would do so when Sheriff Tim Sexton said he would not seek a third term.

Lawless, 42, and a 21-year law enforcement veteran, began his career with the sheriff’s office as a corrections officer and worked his way through the ranks, attaining the rank of chief deputy in 2004. He has also worked previously for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Uranium Enrichment Plant is Piketon and was a member of that agency’s special response team.

Lawless promised to continue the office’s school resource officer (SRO) program in which the sheriff’s office works directly with Lawrence County Schools and Lawrence County Juvenile Court to promote safe and drug-free schools.

“I want to remain active in fighting drugs and educating our children on the dangers of drugs,” he said. “I have and will continue to work hard for our school systems. I have worked alongside Sheriff Sexton to implement the SRO, that provides a deputy dedicated the schools issues.”

He also said he wanted to pursue better coverage throughout the county, particularly on the eastern end.

He said once an eastern end substation is operational he plans to put himself in the rotation and be there personally one day a month.

He said he also wants to continue Lawrence County’s presence in agencies and committees on the state and regional level. Lawless is a member of the facilities governing board of STAR Criminal Justice Center.

He is also a regional coordinator of the Ohio Homeland Security/Law Enforcement Response Plan, the American Jail Association, Tri-State Law Enforcement Council and the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association.

He is also a member of the Lawrence County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force.

Lawless and his wife, Lana, have two sons. They live in Ironton.