A former Sequoyah County sheriff is once again vying for the position. Ron Lockhart issued the following statement regarding his candidacy.
“I am a lifelong resident of Sequoyah County, where I attended and graduated from Sallisaw High School. After high school, I attended Carl Albert State College, where I graduated with an associate’s degree in business administration. After graduating college, I started my law enforcement career in 1987 with the Fort Smith Police Department. I was named Fort Smith Police Officer of the Year in 1989, two years after starting my law enforcement career.
“I also served as a criminal investigator during my tenure at the FSPD, holding the rank of corporal. While working for FSPD, I was assigned to the FBI for five years, working interstate crime. In addition to my career with the FSPD, I proudly served eight years as a city commissioner for my hometown of Sallisaw. After serving the Fort Smith Police Department for 22 years, I retired after being elected sheriff of Sequoyah County in 2008.
During my eight years as your Sequoyah County Sheriff, I accomplished the following:
*Started 24-hour patrol for deputies (four deputies patrolled during the day; three deputies patrolled during the night)
*Took over custody of the Sequoyah County Detention Center after the jail authority ran out of money to fund it
*Obtained several thousand dollars in grant money to purchase new vehicles, for which there was NO COST to the citizens of Sequoyah County
*Started the inmate road crew, where inmates cleaned cemeteries, worked at churches and nonprofit organizations. Inmates also picked up trash on roadways
*Implemented the building check program, where deputies were required to patrol the county and check places such as businesses and churches. Deputies would leave a building check card at these locations. This program was a success because it required deputies to patrol in the county.
*Implemented one drug dog to assist all municipal law enforcement agencies and to combat drug activity in the county
*Never asked for a budget increase during the entire eight years I was your sheriff. In my last five years, I dropped my budget by $200,000 to assist other county offices.
*Always worked with all county officials so we could save money for the citizens
*Donated our older units to all the county commissioners to use in their fleet
*Donated $50,000 to the purchase of the old Agent Funeral Home building, which is used by the Emergency Management Office
*Was named 2014 Oklahoma Sheriff of the Year
Lockhart added, “I always enjoyed visiting with people who would come to the Sheriff’s Office. If you ask to speak with the sheriff, then you should be able to. I was honored to have served as your Sheriff for eight years and the work that we did. All of this can be regained so we can bring professionalism back to the Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Department is there to protect and serve the citizens of Sequoyah County. The cities have city officers, interstate highways have the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the county citizens have the sheriff’s deputies. I promise that if elected again, I will make sure deputies will be seen on county roads.”
The election for Sequoyah County Sheriff will be held June 30.
Also vying for the position are Eric Cope and current Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane.
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
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