Candidates running for Shelby County Sheriff part 2 - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Candidates running for Shelby County Sheriff part 2

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SHELBY COUNTY - AL -

Shelby County Sheriff Chris Curry is retiring.

In our first part of this story, we introduced you to two candidates: John Samaniego and Rick Needham, looking to pick up Curry's badge.

Let's meet the others.

Kip Cole and Larry McDow work with the Hoover and Pelham Police Departments respectively. They believe their law enforcement experience and the departments they serve has prepared them to become sheriff.

Larry McDow has been a Pelham police officer for the last 15 years.

"I have a lot of my life invested in Shelby County. And I just felt I needed to finish out my career working and serving the people in the entire county."

Prior to that, McDow worked as a Birmingham police officer -- giving him 30 years of law enforcement experience.

"If I didn't think I could do it, I wouldn't be here," says McDow.

He believes concessions need to be made to improve the relationship between the sheriff's office and the county commission.

"We need to work together. We don't need to agree on everything," says McDow. "I would like a good working relationship with the commission. Our goal is the same. We're working for the people of Shelby County.

If elected, McDow says cyber crimes would be a focus for the sheriff's office.

His plan, is to better inform the public.

"I would like to see the (sheriff's) website and social media to better inform the citizens of what's going on."

McDow says overall, he doesn't see major changes needed in the office.

"I don't see the department as in total disarray. But I do feel like a fresh look to improve on what's going on. I might need to take a look at everything and see what improvements need to be done."

Kip Cole is another officer with 30 years experience.

Cole is currently a captain with the Hoover Police Department.

"I've commanded most areas of our police department. I currently serve over our special operations and emergency preparedness bureau."

Cole sees several issues that need to be addressed. One, is the administrative side -- repairing the relationship with the commission.

"We are going to do anything and everything in our power to meet the goals that we need to meet with the financial support the county gives us."

Another, the drug and heroin epidemic in Shelby County.

"As sheriff, I would issue this warning. If drugs are your business you need to go somewhere besides Shelby County. Because we're coming for you."

Some other key issues he wants to take on, are school safety and cyber crimes.

He would like to see better training to deal with those issues.

"That specialized training is something that's much needed in all areas of law enforcement, not just in Shelby County, but all areas," says Cole.

If elected, "My goal is to evaluate the needs and make sure this sheriff's department is providing the best service and the best safety we can provide that live in this county that work in this county and that visit this county."

The primary is June 3.

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