Lexington Co. Sheriff: "I think we've come a long way."

Published: May. 3, 2016 at 12:06 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2017 at 4:10 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - After one year in office, the sitting Sheriff of Lexington County says he's looking to meet a lot more goals for his department going
forward.
 
"We got it really good in this state in the Midlands about cooperation," said Sheriff Jay Koon, "and I think we've only expanded on that."

Last year a special election saw Koon being sworn in as the county's 39th sheriff. That came after scandal shook the department following the indictment of longtime Sheriff James Metts, who was at the helm of the agency for more than 40 years.

Sheriff Koon says since taking over his focus has been on developing his own record of service to the people of Lexington County. He says his first year has been spent strengthening ties with the heads of county police agencies as well as seeking ways to cut excess costs for the department.  

Koon says he's also invested a lot of time working with Lexington Medical Center to come up with a new plan to get those in need of mental health care to state facilities without using department resources. In the past, he says his deputies have had to transport patients themselves for evaluation, and in some cases, leave the county's jurisdiction.

Koon says he's also worked to increase exposure for the department by getting more deputies back on the streets.
 
"The citizens don't get to pick and choose where they go for their service," he said, "Like if you have a restaurant where the food is no good or a hardware store where the service is no good, well they just go down the street. Well, they can't do that with government so I think we owe it to our citizens to constantly remind our employees of that mindset."

Sheriff Koon will be up for reelection this coming November. So far he has one opponent in that race as John Elkin of Pelion has filed to run under the Constitution Party.
 
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