MCDOWELL COUNTY (WVVA) - No matter who wins election, there will be a new Sheriff in McDowell County. The incumbent is not seeking reelection. The two men hoping to get the badge are James "Boomer" Muncy, and Kenneth Hicks. We asked both what they see as the big issues facing the town.
Muncy says drugs, unemployment, and the future generation (kids) are the main issues facing McDowell County.
"With drugs we need treatment options. Anytime we have overdoses we need to have deputies respond, and try to get people into treatment. With unemployment I think if you take the drugs away or at least combat the drugs a little bit harder than what we have been, I think with unemployment we can bring job opportunities to the county where people can get employed. With the kids, I think the biggest thing for these kids, we need to have role models for these kids. I volunteer a lot through Boy Scouts, and the Board of Education, to teach gun safety in schools. I do Boy Scouts to give my kid something to look up to somebody, and give other kids someone to look up to so they have something to shoot for," Muncy said.
Mr. Hicks agrees there's a problem with drugs, but he's also alleging corruption within the Sheriff's Office in McDowell County.
"There's too many deputies in the office at one time. They're not out doing their jobs. I intend on being out all different times to make sure that our law enforcement does their jobs. The Sheriff's Department needs someone who can be firm, but can also do his job. They use police cruisers in order to transport their families, and that's taxpayers money, that has to come to an halt. They also have problems with missing evidence in McDowell County that all has to come to an end," Hicks said.
While both candidates have some back ground in law enforcement, we asked each what makes them the best choice for the McDowell County Sheriff's Office.
"I think experience. I've been a police officer for 20 years. I'm an instructor in police tactics, through the state of West Virginia, and through the federal system. I went to FLETC (Federal Law Enforcement Training Center) In Artesia, New Mexico, in Glynco, Georgia and Cheltenham, Maryland. I've also been through the West Virginia State Police Academy, and the West Virginia Corrections Academy, and I'm an instructor in those law enforcement principles," Muncy said.
"He's been here too long. They try not only to take over the Sheriff's Department, but they try to make a 20 year career out of it. I think it's time for a change and people deserve this. When a man stays there, he gets relaxed. He's just looking for a pay day. I believe I'm the man for the job. I'm tough on crime. I believe in giving respect in order to get respect," Hicks said.