10/17/06 — Wayne County sheriff's race - Ken Edwards

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Wayne County sheriff's race - Ken Edwards

By Lee Williams
Published in News on October 17, 2006 1:46 PM

A fresh approach and new ideas are what challenger Ken Edwards says he will bring to the table if elected Wayne County sheriff.

The 53-year-old Wayne County native said he decided to run for the post held by Sheriff Carey Winders because it was time for a change.

"My decision to run for sheriff was not an overnight decision. Actually, I have wanted to be sheriff for a long time," said Edwards, the father of two. "I just had to wait until the time was right."

Edwards retired from the Goldsboro Police Department in August 2005 after 30 years of service. He was the supervisor of the GPD's Public Housing Unit upon retirement.

"My opponent has been the sheriff for almost 12 years, and I do admit that he has made some positive changes and improvements," he said. "I believe in giving credit where credit is due, but it is time for a person with new ideas and a higher level of energy to lead and guide the sheriff's organization."

Edwards said he owns and operates a public firing range that has about 400 members. He said his duties at the range will not conflict with his duties as sheriff.

"If I am elected as sheriff, I have made plans for the range to be operated by a Range Oversight Committee that will be charged with the daily operations and maintenance of the firing range," he said. "I have the committee trained and in place now and I do not foresee the range becoming a conflict with my duties as your sheriff. I have sought after and retained some very intelligent and responsible people to operate and maintain the range."

Edwards said the Public Housing unit he supervised at the GPD made more than 300 weapons and drug arrests and solved three murders. He plans to build on that aggressive approach to crime, he said.

The Democratic candidate said he is concerned with the number of break-ins, gangs, drugs and domestic violence and he plans to form an aggressive crime prevention unit that will adopt a pro-active approach to combat those problems.

"So many times law enforcement is reactionary instead of pro-active," he said. "When you read in the paper where one or more arrests were made concerning a string of break-ins, the natural response from the public is that a good job was done by making arrests. Although an investigation that leads to an arrest is a good job, the arrest is actually reactionary because there has already been a victim. There must be more emphasis placed on crime prevention."

Edwards plans to tackle employee morale, staff efficiency and emergency preparedness at the department. He also plans to take the politics out of the department.

"I have a lot of friends in the sheriff's office, and I have seen them worry over keeping their jobs every four years when there is an election," he said. "Under my leadership, no one in the sheriff's organization will ever be asked, required or coerced into helping me get re-elected."