Two candidates are running for the seat of Dale County sheriff. Current Dale County sheriff Wally Olson says in the past 3 and a half years he's seen a lot of changes, and he doesn't want that progress to stop.
"We have added investigators to our staff, we've added patrol deputies, you know we have a program going where jail transport officers are taking care of a lot of the courts for us allow the deputies to get back in our communities and check on our businesses and our churches."
But his opponent, David Daniels says he's ready to take the step to protect Dale County and make some changes of his own.
"I have mainly been interested in getting into politics at the sheriffs office and just would like to be elected to the position and let the people of Dale County know what a true change can be.”
Daniels lives and owns an auto repair shop in Ozark. He's been interested in running for sheriff for the past 20 years.
"I would like to see actual traffic control being performed, such as radar, I would like to have cameras in the vehicle, protect the people and the deputies on the job."
As for Olson, he says more concentration should be spent on children and the elderly.
"Definitely we have to stay on top of the crime against children, we have seen such an increase on crimes against children and elderly people with the scams and things that are going on and those are things vital parts of our community."
A growing problem in the county is drugs.
"You have got to stay on top of your list of where your list of psuedopheds, you know these drug stores and Wal-Mart and places like that that sell these type pills,” says Olson.
"I think there should be a committed task force to that, there is a drug task force now but they do have their hands full, they can't be involved in everything everywhere in the county. I believe a dedicated department would probably be good just within the sheriff's office itself," says Daniels. "I would like to see the sheriff's reduction or the loss of the helicopter I have actually not heard of any successful missions performed by the helicopter. I have heard a lot of negativity from the police departments concerning that apparent inability to successfully complete a mission.”
Olson says, "We are trying to utilize every employee that we have and to be honest with you we have worked short handed, but we're getting by. It's a tough situation because you're right, the money is not there where it once was."
Officials in Dale County say while there is not a prominent problem in jail overcrowding things still need to be done in order for that not to culminate into a problem. Both candidates about agreed they would try to find a way to let the non-violent offenders be released early.
Sheriff Olson says he would like to put them in programs to help get them back into a healthy way of living in society.
Thursday on News 4 at six and ten, we will profile coffee county sheriff candidates.