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A two-way race for the Republican nomination for sheriff is the only county-wide race on the ballot in Tuesday’s primary election.

The race features the sheriff’s departments two detective investigators Kevin Cripps and Ryan Castleman.

Kevin Cripps joined the department in 1997 and has worked dispatch, corrections, deputy and now as detective sergeant. He feels working in all those positions  will benefit him when he needs to make decisions. In all, he has 13 years of supervisory experience.

Cripps points to several areas where he would like to make improvements in the department, including a county-wide program to get rid of known drug houses
more quickly.

“I want to communicate with those police agencies and work out a plan to shrink that time down so they aren’t there 2-3-4  years.  Let’s try to do some advising and if that’s not working we need to do something different.  Another thing I would like to change also is the activities in our schools.  Getting our children to meet our police officers and deputies in our county.  And my end goal would be to maybe meet with the Regional Office of Education and area Superintendents and try to get a full time deputy into the schools.”

Cripps says students and staff need to feel secure in the schools. He also wants a program to better educate the elderly to scams to try and stop them. Cripps says since being promoted to sergeant detective in July of last year, he has already handled 30 sex crime cases. He feels the department could benefit by having two or three officers trained to handle those cases to speed up the investigation process and get them to the state’s attorney more quickly for prosecution.

Cripps also praised the current sheriff’s department staff feeling they can all work together for great things.

Ryan Castleman has worked at the sheriff’s department for 15 years as a corrections officer, patrol deputy, and investigator. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in
Business Administration and 12 years of running a successful business.

Castleman feels he has the skills to handle all aspects of the sheriff’s department from law enforcement to administrative including budget, finance, and personnel.

Castleman is not planning any major changes in the department. He wants to see deputies patrol more unincorporated areas to reduce property crime.

“I will continue the relationships I’ve built with federal law enforcement partners like the FBI, the United States Marshal’s Service and the US Attorney we will focus on removing dangerous drug dealers and violent offenders from the community.  Also I would like to create a couple of awareness campaigns for our youth in the area in regards to the dangers of counterfeit prescription drugs and social media campaign for the awareness of sexual extortion.”

The winner of Tuesday’s primary will run as the Republican candidate for Sheriff in the November general election.

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Caleb Alexander

Caleb Alexander

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