Meet Jackson County sheriff candidate: Scott Edwards

Jackson County

JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Scott Edwards (R) is running for Jackson County Sheriff against Kevin Arnold (D), Hayes Baggett (D)Donnie Edenfield (R), Tim Ham (D) and Jeff Snell (R).

Who is Scott Edwards?

Edwards has been in law enforcement in Jackson County for more than 30 years.

He started as a dispatcher at the Sneeds Police Department in 1988. While there, he then went through the Chipola College law enforcement academy and became a police officer at Sneed PD.

He was then hired by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in 1989.

Edwards said he served as the deputy sheriff and was promoted to an investigator in the narcotics division, where he worked for five years before moving to general investigations.

He worked for one year at the State Attorney’s office as a law enforcement investigator and then transferred back to the investigations division at the JCSO. Edwards said he was then promoted to oversee patrol and then laterally transferred to be supervisor of criminal investigations and narcotics.

He is currently an administrative captain, overseeing dispatch and other administrative staff, he said.

Is there anything regarding the national discussion of police reform that you would address within the JCSO?

Edwards said it’s important to see what issues are important to the community and address them. He said it’s also important to develop trust and transparency with the community the JCSO serves.

He said he would use town hall meetings to see what is important to the residents in each municipality.

He said also wants to start a Junior Deputy program to build a connection between the community and police and get rid of any fear that might be there.

How do you plan to make sure the best staff is hired?

Edwards said choosing the right command staff during the hiring process and background investigations.

Jackson County currently has a deputy awaiting trial for fabricating evidence. How will you make sure that doesn’t happen in the future?

Making sure that the command staff and supervisors are on top of things, Edwards said.

How will you plan to address the caseload of unsolved murders in Jackson County?

Edwards said some of the older evidence can be resubmitted for DNA testing or bringing in retired law enforcement personnel to look over them.

What are you top three priorities?

  1. Let’s get our trust back from the community.
  2. Get in the community.
  3. More road deputies. Edwards said he would like to move positions from other departments and convert them to sworn positions.

How will you address drugs?

Edwards said the JCSO needs to aggressively target drug dealers and that drug crimes are often related to homicides, burglaries and other crimes.

He said that the users are unfortunately addicted to the drug and direct those who want help to get help.

Closing remarks:

“If I’m elected sheriff I will definitely be accountable to you, our staff will be accountable and we will make this a safer place for our kids and grand kids.”

Meet the other candidates running for office this year.

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