NEWS

Sweeten to run for Mac County sheriff

John Ford

McDonald County undersheriff Gregg Sweeten has become the first to announce his bid for sheriff in November.

Sweeten, a Republican, made his announcement Tuesday at the McDonald County Courthouse in Pineville.

Sweeten, who became a commissioned deputy sheriff in McDonald County in 1993, has more than 22 years in law enforcement experience. For more than 10 years, Sweeten has also served as the county’s director of emergency management.

“I want to bring my family values, my experience and my dedication and loyalty to the citizens of McDonald County as your sheriff,” Sweeten said. “I am proud to have served you as a deputy sheriff for 14 years, of which the last three have been as your chief deputy under Sheriff Don Schlessman.”

Sweeten has asked Mike Hall, a deputy with the department since 1996, to serve as his undersheriff, if he is elected.

Sweeten also listed some of the accomplishments the department has made in recent years, including upgrading communications equipment in vehicles and computer technology in the sheriff’s office and the jail. Sweeten said these projects were done by securing state and federal grant funds.

Sweeten also told those gathered for the announcement he intends to serve all of McDonald County.

“We want to serve every person in McDonald County, from Rocky Comfort to Southwest City, to Mountain, to Tiff City, and everyone in between,” he said. “I will work for you, and my deputies will work with you, the citizens of McDonald County.”

One of the challenges Sweeten sees for the department is the amount of growth in the county.

“The rate of calls for service continues to grow each year, we have new people moving into the county daily, we have new businesses opening in the county almost every month,” he said. “The sheriff’s department must meet those challenges head-on and be prepared for the coming growth.”

Sweeten said the department has been upgrading its vehicle fleet over the last three years, and has established two sub-stations in the county: One near Southwest City, the other at the Jane Wal-Mart.

“I feel we are responsible to provide the best service we can for the citizens of McDonald County,” he said. “I care for each and every citizen and will do everything in my power to protect them.”

Neosho Daily News