King declares his candidacy for Sheriff

Friday, March 5, 2010

Chapel Hill's police chief is running for sheriff of Marshal County, officially declaring his intentions the day another candidate dropped out.

If they don't know him as a police chief, county voters may remember Jackie King, 59, of Lawrence Avenue, Chapel Hill as a candidate for property assessor nearly a decade ago.

King's friends and close observers of county politics may have known that on Feb. 22 he had obtained a petition to be named on the Aug. 5 election ballot, but it wasn't until Wednesday that he filed it.

"It takes 25" signatures of registered voters on the petition for someone to be named on the prepared ballot, he said. "I got 40."

After serving as chief of the Chapel ill Police department for 27 years, King said, "I think I can serve... and I built the police force up from one man to five."

If elected, he said he would "look at the budget to see what everything is riding on.

Funding, transportation and employee security were issues for candidate comments last week and now Kings says, "Most definitely, the chief deputy would remain the same. I would not remove Billy Lamb. He's covered by civil service anyway."

King would also "look for grants," he said, explaining, "There are grants out there for equipment."

He obtained a "state safety grant for computers in every car," King said. "They've been there over a year."

Another funding avenue he's used while chief of police in Chapel Hill has been "through our city traffic court," King said. "There's so much money that goes into an equipment fund, bought new light bars, guns and tasers for the officers. We're in the process of getting another safety grant" for Chapel Hill.

As for the prospect of deputies being able to drive to and from work in a patrol car, he said, "I believe the community likes drive home cars. They let us take ours home. I have one now, used to have two living in Caney Springs, one's now living in Verona.

"Just the presence of a police car is a deterrent," King said. "And when they radio in to go into service, they're ready to take calls.

he also supports inmate labor: "We need those, especially at the armory, any government place where they can be supervised.

Chapel Hill's Board of Mayor and Aldermen has no objection to him running, King said.

"I hope I have some input" when the city board is selecting his successor as chief, assuming King becomes sheriff, he said. "I hope it will be one of my officers."

As for his leadership abilities, king says he's been in the National Guard for 39 years, including service in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He mustered out as a master sergeant, an E-8, two years ago. As such he supervised 190 people.

"If I can run 190 people, I feel like I can run that jail and the employees," he said.