Retired Arkansas State Police Investigator Roger McLemore, who is running as an independent candidate for sheriff, said he is not seeking the office because of the salary.
McLemore is challenging incumbent Sheriff Gerald Robinson, a Democrat, in the Nov. 6 General Election.
“I’m running for the people of this county because I want Jefferson County to be the best it can be. This is the county that I live in and I’m not going anywhere,” McLemore said. “I want something better for all of us and something the people can be proud of.”
He said he decided to run as an independent because neither the Democratic or Republican parties fit his personal beliefs and philosophies.
McLemore began his career with the State Police in 1975 and was assigned to Troop F at Warren where he worked highway patrol. He moved to Jefferson County in June, 1978 “and I’ve been here ever since,” he said.
He also worked in the Criminal Investigation Division of State Police for a number of years before retiring in 2010.
“We’ve had a run of crime and nobody seems to be doing anything about it,” McLemore said. “I like people and want to help them.”
If elected, he said one of the areas he will focus on will be young people.
“Nobody’s done anything for kids since they ran them off Cherry Street,” McLemore said. “The kids are running wild because there’s nothing for them to do.”
To solve that, McLemore said would support a variety of activities involving young people on a regular basis.
“I would like to see us doing something 365 days a year, see us use some imagination,” he said. “It would not be just the sheriff’s office, but the schools, churches, parents, and everybody else in the community getting involved.”
If elected, McLemore said his top priority would be to insure that deputies patrolled all of Jefferson County, not just the incorporated areas.
“I want the deputies to watch people’s property while they are at work, and not just patrol. I want them to meet the public,” he said. “If they see somebody outside, I want them to stop, visit, give them a card and tell them if they ever need anything, give us a call.
“I want them to patrol the less traveled roads too because if deputies just stay in town, the thugs are going to figure that out and they’re going outside of town to commit their crimes.”
As an example, McLemore mentioned the theft of copper wire which is becoming a major concern, and the fact that irrigation pipes used by farmers to irrigate their crops contains a large amount of copper.
“Thieves could make a pretty good haul right there,” he said. “We’ve got to outsmart the criminals by using our heads and getting them on the run.”
McLemore said he was not a fan of the Zero Tolerance campaigns currently used by the sheriff’s department, and if elected, would place a top priority on drug eradication.
“Drugs cause a lot of our major problems,” he said. “A lot of our homicides and other crimes are drug related and I’m going to do everything I can to get the drugs and the thugs out of town.” He said he “wanted to change the image of the sheriff’s department.
“I want the people of Jefferson County to say ‘I can trust my sheriff’s department,’” McLemore said.
He also promised an open door policy if elected.
“People are going to be able to come in and talk about whatever they want to talk about,” McLemore said.