Decision 2018: Race for Geneva County Sheriff

Decision 2018: Race for Geneva County Sheriff
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Current Dothan Police Department Lt. Pepper Mock is a Geneva County native, and plans to oppose Sheriff Tony Helms in the sheriff's race. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Current Dothan Police Department Lt. Pepper Mock is a Geneva County native, and plans to oppose Sheriff Tony Helms in the sheriff's race. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

GENEVA COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - In June's primary election, voters will choose between two candidates to serve as Geneva County's Sheriff.

Current Sheriff Tony Helms is seeking re-election. He's served one term in office. During his time as sheriff, Helms says he's been able to expand neighborhood watch programs, expand the Sheriff's Posse – which helps with search and rescues, implement the inmate G.E.D. Program and extends coverage hours for patrol deputies to work after midnight. All these are things he'd like to continue to push if re-elected.

"What you're looking at are programs in their infancy. I've got to get them through their teenage years and into adulthood. We're looking at that and we're trying to do more and expand more and with a little time these will take hold," said Helms.

He says other items he'd like to push include providing assistance in schools within the county, providing more education and training for correctional officers, and expanding the department ahead of the county jail expansion.

Helms says the county is working with limited financial resources because of its size, so he won't make lofty campaign promises. But what he does promise is continued effort.

"I can only tell you the truth. I can tell you I'll do the best I can with the resources we have and sometimes that means even I'm out till midnight," Helms said.

Helms will face Pepper Mock in the election. Mock is a Lieutenant with the Dothan Police Department, works as an Assistant SWAT Commander and is a former Narcotics Investigator.

Although he works for the Dothan Police Department, he grew up and lives in Geneva County. He says that works to his advantage, because as a citizen in the county, he says he can see what changes he feels should be made and has the law enforcement experience to make the changes.

"I see a need and I think that with the proper leadership and management there is a lot of potential - it's fertile ground as young officers go and deputies in that county," said Mock.

Some of the issues Mock says he would want to address, if elected, include using his experience to make sure the county is prepared for a potential active shooter, and address drug use in the county.

"We get proper training and we work with community leaders to bring drug education back to our schools, and that goes for teachers in schools, school administrators, youth pastors – everybody at the table," said Mock.

Both Mock and Helms are the Republican candidates. There are no Democratic candidates.

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