Republican Geneva County Sheriff Candidates discuss the big issues

By: Denise Bradberry Email
By: Denise Bradberry Email

For the next two weeks WTVY will be profiling candidates in major local primary races.

In the republican Geneva County Sheriff race, incumbent Greg Ward is facing Wayland Danley.

They both say their experience is what makes them more qualified.

Ward got his start in law enforcement at 21 with the Montgomery Police Department, served as a deputy in Geneva County for nine years, the Hartford police chief for five years and as the Geneva County Sheriff since 1995.

Candidate Wayland Danley retired from the military, worked as a correctional officer in two states, spent two years as a patrol officer and was the Samson Police Chief for 8 years.

One of the major issues the Geneva County Sheriff will face is the ever changing Illegal drug market.

"We're going to change as they change, we're going to educate ourselves and we're going to keep the pressure on them. Every day, every day our goal is to purchase, or catch someone selling an illegal drug here in Geneva County," says Ward.

"You've got to notice what's going on in your community. Once you know, then you can do something about it and you've got to know what you're looking for then you can do a little bit about that community, then you got to go to the other one," says Danley.

Sheriff offices across the Wiregrass are dealing with smaller budgets while continuing to fight crime.

But these candidates say there are some things that must continue to be funded.

"They have got to have so many deputies to cover this county and you're going to have to pay those deputies pretty well to keep them there,” says Danley.

"The law is simple. The jail has to be funded first," says Ward, "When it comes budget time the line will be drawn when I start to see the citizens aren't getting the protection they deserve."

Geneva County averages between 75 to 80 inmates in their 92 person capacity jail, but that number is expected to grow.

The two candidates have different ideas on how to ease overcrowding.

"It's not just my job to put you in jail, that's part of it, but you've got to think about this. While you're there I think it's my job to try to help them as well so that they don't come back,” says Ward.

“We're either going to have to build more jails that'll hold more inmates or just put down some pallets on the floor, that's all I can say, or build a tent and put them in that if you have to," says Danley.

One thing they can agree on is the main priority of the Sheriff's Office.

"Protecting and serving the people. That is your main objective,” says Danley.

"Your fundamental, fundamental duty is to serve mankind. That's the priority,” says Ward.

The winner of the republican nomination will face democrat Ron Sanders in the November general election.

The candidates had a lot more to say than we could fit in a newscast.

Click below for the uncut videos of the entire interviews

Click Here for Full Interviews

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