ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — Three men have declared their intentions to run for Taylor County Sheriff next year.
Jeff Stanton announced his bid Wednesday afternoon at Everman Park.
He says he wants to further education for law enforcement officers and reduce the Big Country’s problem with drugs like meth and heroin, an issue he’s seen first hand in his role in the narcotics and warrants division at the sheriff’s office.
“For the last few years we’ve just conducted the minimum amount of firearms training, and I want to excel in that department. Right now at the sheriff’s office, we do a good job, but I feel like we can do a lot better job,” Stanton says.
Stanton has been with the sheriff’s office for roughly 12 years and has actually worked under both of his opponents: former Sheriff Les Bruce and current Sheriff Ricky Bishop.
In 2012, Les Bruce was the incumbent, and was challenged by one of his officers, Ricky Bishop.
Bishop eventually took over and after being defeated, Bruce left law enforcement.
Now a Criminal Justice teacher at Abilene High, Bruce says he hopes to build on his officer training platform he created during his 4-year term in office.
“I’ve been looking at the sheriff’s office obviously for the last seven years. That platform is still there. Folks have had an opportunity to build on that platform, and that is what I’m going to bring to the sheriff’s office,” Bruce says.
If elected to the position, Bruce says he also plans to combat drug-related issues, helping clear the cells in the Taylor County Jail.
Sheriff Ricky Bishop says if reelected, one issue he will continue to work on is increasing numbers on his force despite the county’s tight budget.
“Several people say, ‘How many more people did you put on patrol?’ I say, ‘We’ve got, I’ve only been able to add a few with budget constraints. I still need to add more to patrol,'” Bishop says. “That’s what I still plan to do in the future. But they’re getting out, they’re moving, they’re being seen a lot more than they ever have been.”
The election is set for March and the winner will then be placed on the ballot next November.