Thomas remains unopposed as Sheriff

Published 6:42 pm Friday, May 21, 2010

For the fifth straight term, Sheriff Russell Thomas will hold his position as the chief law enforcement officer of Pike County.

Thomas was first elected Sheriff in 1994 when he received the most votes ever for the position, and in this year’s election he will run unopposed.

Thomas said he is happy to continue working for the public.

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“I appreciate very much that the people bless me with the job I love,” he said, “I am the peoples’ sheriff.”

Thomas said he is also grateful to have the opportunity to uphold a familiar standard with an exceptional staff.

“I believe we (the sheriff’s department) provide an excellent public service to the citizens of Pike County. We just want to continue the work that we’ve been doing as a team.”

Thomas said that team will keep its focus on certain issues facing the community.

“We place very strong emphasis on drugs and drug-related offenses,” he said, adding that 85 percent of all crimes are drug related.

Thomas said he was also committed to addressing property related offenses such as burglary, and he wanted to ensure that the department took an all-around preventative stance in general.

“We try to be proactive and prevent crimes rather than be reactive,” he said.

Sheriff Thomas and his staff have established 11 neighborhood watches, been active in drug education for young people and run the childhood identification program for 10 years.

Thomas also said he has seen the department grow significantly in his 16 years in office.

“With the help of the county commission, we’ve upgraded our equipment, manpower, we’ve increased patrol and salaries and we’re continuously training and educating personnel.”

Thomas is a member of the National Sheriff’s Association, the District Vice President of the Alabama Peace Officers Association, a board member of the Alabama Peace Officers Annuity and Benefit, a board member of the Senior Citizens Advisory Council, and a member of the Alabama Jail Association.

He belongs to the Pike County Cattleman’s Association and the Troy Masonic Lodge and he was the 2007 President of the Alabama Sheriff’s Association, of which he is still a member, and he served as a past commission member of the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center.

But Thomas said his main calling is to serve the people.

“My desire has always been to provide the citizens of Pike County with excellent law enforcement service and be accessible to the public,” he said.

“I want to hear from the public. I care about Pike County and the future of Pike County.”