Thomas: ‘We are proactive … not reactive’

Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sheriff Russell Thomas says he has worked to serve the citizens of Pike County for the last 19 and a half years, and he understands the trust that has been placed in him.

“The citizens of Pike County have placed an immense amount of trust in me to work as sheriff,” Thomas said. “Fifty percent of my work probably has nothing to do with law enforcement. I am honored and proud to serve the county where I was raised. I love wearing the star.”

Thomas, a Democrat, faces Republican challenger Jason Youngblood in Tuesday’s general election.

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Thomas said he has worked to be able to have an open and accessible office as sheriff and hopes to be able to continue the open door policy he has worked so hard to put in place for his office.

“Three things you need to know about me: I’m dependable, very accessible and I’m honest,” Thomas said. “You can depend on me day or night … I think if you do you job, you show up and do what you’re supposed to, it works itself out.”

Thomas, who has been in law enforcement for 30 years, says his first passion is investigating cases, and he takes pride in the efforts his department has made during his time as sheriff.

“Anyone that knows me knows my passion is investigations,” Thomas said. “If we’ve got something going on, I’m going to be out front. In 19 and a half years as sheriff, 30 years all together in law enforcement, I’ve never been accused of not doing my job.”

Thomas said he also has tried to work with the county commission and to work within the budget concerns that stem from a county strapped for revenue.

“It’s up to the commission to fund (the department),” Thomas said. “They won’t let you hire deputies when they don’t have money. The commission has been good to law enforcement departments based on the money they do have or have had in the past.”

Thomas said his time in office has helped him grow as not only a law enforcement officer but also as a person.

“This job has made me a better person,” Thomas said. “It’s made me more conscious of other peoples lives and other peoples concerns.”

Thomas said if re-elected he hoped to continue to provide the best possible law enforcement for all the citizens in Pike County and to always be accessible.

“I take very little time off,” Thomas said. “We make sure we have safe and drug free communities. The department tries to prevent much of the crime. We are proactive versus reactive.”