Jackson Co. Sheriff candidates stump for last minute votes - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson Co. Sheriff candidates stump for last minute votes

Left to right: Jeff Barnes, Robert Cochran (Photo source: WLOX) Left to right: Jeff Barnes, Robert Cochran (Photo source: WLOX)
Left to right: Bruce Lynd, Scott McIlrath (Photo source: WLOX) Left to right: Bruce Lynd, Scott McIlrath (Photo source: WLOX)
Left to right: Sheila Smallman, Mike Ezell (Photo source: WLOX) Left to right: Sheila Smallman, Mike Ezell (Photo source: WLOX)
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Nearly 30 year law enforcer Jeff Barnes has been shaking hands and pushing his vision on how to revive the troubled sheriff's department in Jackson County non-stop.

"This county is in dire need of a leader. As the sheriff, and if I am elected, I will increase patrols and bring back professionalism and honesty,” said Barnes.

Scott McIlrath has also been stumping for votes everywhere. He said coming from a law enforcement family, he knows what it takes to improve the sheriff's office if elected.

"I have actually been a deputy sheriff, and I know what the job is. I have 30 years of law enforcement experience, and the last 10 of which I spent running a multimillion dollar budget. I think it is important that we hire someone who has those types of skills," said McIlrath.

Former Moss Point Police Chief Sheila Smallman said she has been focused on letting voters know she has the compassion and experience to lead.

"It shouldn't matter if that candidate is black or white or male or female. What matters is that you can relate to the citizens, and you know how to talk with the individuals. It is all about respect and an open door policy," Smallman said.

Mike Ezell has also been pushing for those last minute votes in the county. The former patrolman and Ocean Springs Chief of Police said no one is better prepared than him to be sheriff.

"I want to be sheriff, because I am committed to my community, and I am committed to our county, and I will serve you as your sheriff," Ezell said.

More than 26 year law enforcer Bruce Lynd said his message to voters has been if elected, he will make training in the department even more of a priority.

"Police officers are required 24 hours of continuing education each year, but the sheriff's deputies throughout the State of Mississippi are not. If the sheriff's department's 75 or 100 employees, they should by law fall under that standard of training," said Lynd.

Finally, there is police officer and Navy veteran Robert Cochran. He said despite the past problems at the sheriff's department, if elected, he will restore the public's trust.

"The best for Jackson County is to show we can have integrity, accountability and character, responsibility and ethics in that sheriff's department," Cochran said.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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