By Patrick Yost
Kenny Stewart, a former officer with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that he would seek the office of sheriff.
Stewart, 48, said he would run as a Republican. In 2016 Stewart ran as a Democrat in a failed campaign against incumbent Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markley. Stewart is currently a sergeant in the Taliaferro County Sheriff’s Office as an investigator and is also assigned to a drug interdiction unit.
Stewart is a Morgan County native and, according to a press release he issued, was an 18-year veteran of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and “it has always been my goal to one day serve the citizens of Morgan County as your sheriff.”
Stewart said if elected he would manage a “pro-active” department.
“A quiet department is always a good department,” he said.
According to the press release, Stewart served in Morgan County as a deputy, K-9 officer, investigations, narcotics and as a drug interdiction officer. He also said he forged relationships with other agencies during that time. “During my time at the sheriff’s office, I worked hard to build close relationships with all agencies on local, state and federal levels. I was also fortunate to spend a portion of my time with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office attached to the Ocmulgee Drug Task Force as well as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.”
Stewart said, if elected, he would work to cross-train deputies in emergency care “for basic first response.”
“It would ease a lot of pressure off emergency medical services.”
In the press release Stewart is critical of what he says is a “very low number of narcotic search warrants that have been served in the last three years. “
Stewart says “narcotics are the cornerstone of most criminal activity.”
“I have personally witnessed many good people have their lives destroyed by substance abuse. It will be the goal of my administration to work with the community to minimize the impact that drugs have on our citizens,” his press release says.
He also said expected population growth may add to the rate of crime. “We are going to experience some growth, this is inevitable.”
“What we have to do to avoid a growth in the crime rate, is to become pro-active.”
“The approach of the current administration has been reactive. The only time our community sees an increase in enforcement activity is during an election cycle.”