News Column

Sheriff hopefuls debate issues

July 18, 2014

By Tim Hodge, The Daily Herald, Columbia, Tenn.



July 18--Maury County needs to address its issues with police partnership and performance, candidates for Maury County Sheriff said.

The Maury County Chamber and Economic Alliance sponsored the "Pizza & Politics" forum for candidates Thursday at Columbia State Community College'sCherry Theater.

Candidates were asked what their first priority would be if elected sheriff.

Jimmy Tennyson said he wanted to be available at any time for citizens. Robin Howell said he would examine the sheriff's department effectiveness.

"We need to make sure that we are doing everything that we need to be doing to protect you, the citizens of Maury County," Howell said.

Bucky Rowland said his first priority is reducing crime while working toward minimizing repeat offenders.

Luis Sweeney said he would like to improve the MCSD's image.

"No one is going to be above the law, and everybody is going to work according to the law," Sweeney said.

Terry Chandler said he would like to examine what is working, and what is not at the MCSD. He wants to look at areas that need improvement, including managing overtime issue.

The second question asked candidates about their approach to working with other agencies.

Howell said working together is critical for an effective law enforcement agency to protect all citizens.

Rowland said building stronger relations with city and other departments is a top priority.

"I truly believe that is the best way we can reduce crime and have the strongest law enforcement in Maury County is by pooling our resources, our ideas and our information together," Rowland said.

Sweeney said his experience as a Tennessee Highway Patrol state trooper has been beneficial to working with other agencies, and he would carry that into his office.

Chandler said there's a need to partner with other agencies and work out plans to reduce crime.

"We have to ... make sure that we have these partnerships with the other chiefs and the other police departments inside of Maury County," Chandler said.

Tennyson said he has worked hard with other counties and agencies in the past to make sure they are "taken care of" when they need it.

"Anybody that has called me, I have always extended a helping hand," Tennyson said.

Sweeney and Tennyson said they support having a criminal justice center, while Chandler, Howell and Rowland said it is not the right time for one right now.

The candidates were asked about what they would do to reduce domestic violence in Maury County.

Chandler supported working with the District Attorney's office and other organizations to combat it. Tennyson said he supported more victim advocacy within the department. Howell said more inter-agency partnerships would help deter the problem. Rowland said offender rehabilitation is the key, while Sweeney said educating officers about domestic violence is important.

Early voting begins Friday and runs through Aug. 2 at the Maury County Election Commission Office at 1207A Tradewinds Drive in Columbia. Election Day is Aug. 7.

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(c)2014 The Daily Herald (Columbia, Tenn.)

Visit The Daily Herald (Columbia, Tenn.) at www.columbiadailyherald.com

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Source: Daily Herald (Columbia, TN)


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