Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft has announced his intention to run for his fifth term in office as the parish's leading law enforcement officer.

Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft has announced his intention to run for his fifth term in office as the parish’s leading law enforcement officer.

“It has been my privilege and honor to have served as ‘Your Sheriff’ since 2000,” Craft said. “I have 30 years of law enforcement experience and I have completed numerous training seminars and law enforcement classes. The issues facing law enforcement leaders are very complex and ever changing. As ‘Your Sheriff’ I strive to stay abreast of the changes to be better able to serve you.”

A graduate of Anacoco High School and Northwestern State University, Craft resides in Anacoco, where he is a married father of five children and grandfather of four. He is a lifelong resident of Vernon Parish.

According to Craft, the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office has forged relationships and works cooperatively with all local, state and federal agencies. As a result, over the past couple of years, there has been a sizeable decrease in burglaries and thefts in the area.

“During the 2014 year, our parish saw a decrease in burglaries and thefts and in the first half of this year, we have seen an 11 percent decrease in burglaries and thefts,” Craft said. “We will continue to diligently strive to make our parish a safe place to live in.”

Craft is also committed in keeping Vernon Parish schools and children safe as he will continue, if re-elected on Oct. 24, to provide School Resource Officers to the schools as he believes the program has been very efficient and effective.

Craft also touted the new and enhanced radio communications system now in place, along with the improvement in vehicle maintenance during his time in office.

“Patrol units are equipped with computers for the individual deputies and each have individually assigned vehicles,” Craft said. “This has resulted in lowered maintenance costs and has increased the lifetime of the vehicles.”

Craft said the purpose of the Sheriff’s Office is to provide professional service, safety and protection to the populace of Vernon Parish. Accessibility is key in that, according to Craft.

“I believe the Sheriff’s Department belongs to the people of our parish,” Craft said. “I will continue to maintain an open door policy and we will continue to be accessible to everyone.”

Finally, Craft promises to ensure a person’s right to religious freedom, the right to possess firearms and the protection of the United States flag from desecration.

“Honesty and integrity will continue to be the principles that will guide me and my decisions,” Craft said. “Your vote and support will be greatly appreciated.”