WIS to stream Lexington County sheriff candidate forum tonight

Published: Feb. 24, 2015 at 11:48 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 6, 2015 at 11:49 AM EST
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LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Tuesday night will give Lexington County voters another chance to get close with the four men vying to be the next sheriff.

Tuesday night is a forum for all four candidates to tell voters their opinions on the issues. It will be the first time in four decades voters in Lexington County won't have former Sheriff James Metts on the ballot.

Lexington Assistant Police Chief Jay Koon says his focus is holding the department accountable to the taxpayers, decreasing crime rates, and reducing response times.

West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tyndall points out his accomplishments in West Columbia. He says he's been proactive in recruit selection and equips his officers with the best in training and equipment.

Richland County deputy Justin Britt says he wants to see a partnership between the sheriff's department and the citizens. He also wants to take steps to ensure every public school in Lexington County has an assigned school resource officer.

Criminal justice instructor Ed Felix says transparency is his big issue. He says law enforcement can overcome negative stereotypes by putting integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all they do.

University of South Carolina public service professor Dennis Lambries says this forum can go a long way in helping the candidates connect with voters.

"That they're competent law enforcement officers who understand the relationship between law enforcement and the citizens, who understand the process and the background and integrity to do the job the citizens expect," Lambries said. "But understand this is still an important decision because for the first time in 40 years you're guaranteed changes at the top. And that wwillthen set the tone for the next period of time."

The forum Tuesday night is sponsored by the League of Women Voters from 6 to 8 p.m. at Saluda Shoals Park in the Environmental Center Auditorium. The public is invited. WISTV.com will stream the forum live.

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