JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It’s a rare occasion when someone who is running for public office has no challengers. That’s exactly what has happened with Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell.
He is running unopposed for a second full term, which assures his victory in November. The sheriff sat down to talk about past successes and the challenges of the future.
Sheriff Mike Ezell is a happy man these days with no campaign to run. But, he’s not taking his win for granted.
“It makes me believe that we’re doing some things right up here, and we’re going to continue to try and serve the people. But it is a very humbling and thankful time in my life,” he said.
During the past four years, the sheriff has repaired what were once bad feelings.
“We’ve got a good professional relationship with the other agencies up and down the Coast, along here in Jackson County,” Ezell explained.
The new $30 million dollar jail, opened under his watch, is a source of pride.
“We have our own medical staff out there. We have Good News bible ministry going on out there, so there’s a lot of good things going on at the ADC that we’re very proud of. We have the GED program,” he further explained.
But there has also been two jail suicides in recent months, and that has opened the sheriff’s eyes.
“One thing that we have learned is that we really have to keep an eye on these folks because people get depressed in jail. You don’t know what all is going on in somebody’s mind,” he said.
Ezell is not resting on his laurels. There are challenges ahead, specifically the opioid crisis.
“Now we have people getting prescription drugs that are using them, that are selling them and abusing them, and how do we tackle that in a professional manner?” Ezell asked.
The final question people are asking is whether he is considered a politician or a law enforcer. Ezell has a diplomatic answer.
“I do have to do things on a political scale. But, I also have to manage the sheriff’s office and the law enforcement efforts that we have here in the county. I’m going to say I’m a little bit of both,” he explained.
The sheriff’s main goal in the next year is opening a new law enforcement training academy and firing range in the county.
And he says he has no plans on slowing down, not ruling out a run for a third term in 2023.