With the general election less than three weeks away, voters in Ohio County are getting ready to select a new Sheriff.
To protect and serve, that is the mission of law enforcement officials everywhere, but especially at the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department.
In just a few short weeks, the citizens of Ohio County will elect a new Sheriff, choosing between Democrat Tom Howard and Republican John Powell.
John Powell is a Wheeling native and graduated from Wheeling Park High School. Powell says he has an extensive background in law enforcement reaching as far as the White House and is a former Chief Petty Officer in the Navy. Now, he is a gun library manager and says his experience in retail makes him a desirable candidate.
“The citizens that we represent aren’t taxpayers, they’re customers. They pay for a service. We need to provide that service. Regardless of where they live, the economical status, where they live, how much money they make, they’re still a customer,” said Powell.
Tom Howard is also a native of the Ohio Valley, and currently serves as a sergeant with the Wheeling Police Department and works as a Prevention Resource Officer at Triadelphia Middle School. He also has a degree in Accounting. Howard says he is heavily involved with the kids of the neighborhood and thinks being out in the community makes people feel safer.
“I want to be out. I don’t want to sit behind a desk. I want to be out in the public, and they’ll see that. As a Sheriff, you will see me out working, involved in the community. They’d see that now. They do that now,” said Howard.
On their to-do list, both candidates agree that tackling the drug epidemic is a top priority, along with other crimes that are on the rise most likely in correlation with that epidemic.