By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
Alcorn County Sheriff Ben Caldwell is seeking re-election to a second term.
Caldwell, an independent, has one opponent so far in the race — Libertarian Ricky Gofourth.
Caldwell said numerous accomplishments have occurred during his tenure, including working with law enforcement partners to combat methamphetamine and other drugs.
Other than arresting those with drugs, Caldwell said his office is also committed to helping people who are addicted. The sheriff’s office works with local programs and the court system to get people who are charged with simple possession treatment for their addiction problems, he added.
Caldwell also said his office has a “proven track record” for arresting and charging people, including jail employees, who bring contraband into the correctional facility.
Inmates were also allowed to return to the regional correctional facility during Caldwell’s tenure. The inmates were removed prior to his taking office due to management problems and allowed to return because the state had a high level of confidence in Caldwell to manage the facility correctly.
The Alcorn County Sheriff’s Office has a great relationship with other agencies, including the Corinth Police Department, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, the FBI and many others, including neighboring Tennessee agencies, the sheriff said.
At the time he took office it seemed as though the sheriff’s office had become stagnant, he said. He feels that the sheriff’s office has good momentum now and is headed in the right direction. For instance, he noted that there have been more deputies assigned to shifts and vehicles have been upgraded.
As call volume increases, it is important for the sheriff’s office to be proactive and have the right number of deputies assigned to patrols, Caldwell said. The sheriff’s office also has deputies assigned to the special response team with the police department.
Caldwell noted that he works for the people and that the sheriff’s office is blessed to have a citizenry that is supportive of law enforcement. Treating the citizens with the respect they deserve is essential, Caldwell said, adding that he returns all phone calls and tries to see everyone who comes into the office. Moreover, the sheriff’s office has excellent deputies who truly care about the people, he said.
Caldwell said public service has always come naturally to him, having served as a Corinth police officer, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agent and a U.S. Marine in Afghanistan. Many of his family members have also held public office, including his dad, Circuit Clerk Joe Caldwell, and his grandfather who was on the Alcorn School Board for many years. Caldwell’s uncle, Lane Caldwell, was a Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agent killed in the line of duty in Alcorn County in 1979.
With his training and experience, Caldwell said he has the tools and knowledge to serve as sheriff another four years with respect and honor. He said every decision he has made in the office has been with the mindset of doing what is right for the county and the citizens.