Last updated: April 15. 2014 9:33PM - 2272 Views
By Kitsey E. Burns kburns@civitasmedia.com



Sheriff Ricky Oliver
Sheriff Ricky Oliver
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In what will likely be one of the most talked about political races in the county, four Republicans will duke it out in the May primary election for Yadkin County sheriff.


There are no Democrats running, so the Republican primary winner will be on the only candidate for sheriff on the November ballot.


Running for election is incumbent Sheriff Ricky Oliver, who was appointed to the position in January of 2011 following the resignation of Michael Cain, which was part of his plea arrangement for charges involving misuse of public property.


Also on the Republican ballot are Eric Ball, Donnie Talley and Gary Willard. Each candidate was asked a series of questions regarding themselves and their run for the office of Yadkin County sheriff. The candidates also will appear in a public Candidate Forum on April 22 at the Yadkin County Courthouse.


Sheriff Ricky Oliver


Q: Is there any biographical information you would like the public to know about you and your family?


A: “I was born on April 26, 1958 to Shelby Oliver and the late Rodney Oliver of the Hamptonville community. As a child my parents taught me family values, respect for others and a Christian belief. I was taught a good work ethic in the tobacco fields of western Yadkin County. Community service began at the age of 16 when I joined the West Yadkin Volunteer Fire Department. I am married to Monta Davis-Oliver who is the daughter of the late J.D. and Ann Davis of the Forbush community. We are lifelong residents of Yadkin County and are both committed to community service and have served on several boards and committees. As lifelong conservatives we have supported the Republican Party for many years. I have served on committees for the March of Dimes, Yadkin YMCA, past President of the Yadkin County Kiwanis Club and past Master of the Yadkin County Masonic Lodge. I currently serve on the Training Committee and Legislative Committee for the N.C. Sheriff’s Association.”


Q: What is your educational background? (Please list any college or other law enforcement training or certifications you may have.)


A: “Starmount High School, Police Science Degree from Surry Community College, Bachelor’s Degree from Gardner Webb College. I have completed the Law Enforcement Executive Program and recently completed three weeks at the Sheriff’s Leadership Institute in Chapel Hill. I have over 3,000 hours of in-service training and hold an advanced Law Enforcement Certificate.”


Q: What is your career/law enforcement background?


A: “I began my career in law enforcement on April 1, 1977 with the Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office where I worked for 21 and a half years. During my career at the Sheriff’s Office I had the opportunity to work in all areas of law enforcement. I worked in communications, detention, patrol and for twelve years in criminal investigations. While working in criminal investigations, I specialized in drug enforcement and worked with two different drug task forces. I worked in administration for five years as Chief Deputy. I also worked 11 and a half years for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and was in charge of the Community Policing Program for the Town of Lewisville. The last three years I have had the pleasure of serving as your Sheriff here in Yadkin County.”


Q: Why are you running for Yadkin County Sheriff?


A: “Yadkin County is my home and I care deeply about its future. I believe the citizens of this county are entitled to professional law enforcement services. For the last 36 years of my life I have prepared myself for the responsibility and challenges of this office through my work experience and educational background. During the last three years, we at the Sheriff’s Office have come together as a team to meet the challenges of modern day law enforcement. I feel that we have accomplished a great deal, but there is more work to be done. I want to continue our progress in building a professional law enforcement agency that the citizens of this county can be proud of.”


Q: What do you think are the top crime issues in Yadkin County and what have you been doing to address those issues?


A: “I feel that the top crime issues are drugs and property crimes. When I took office over 3 years ago I set as my top priorities drug enforcement, reduction in property crimes and crime prevention. We developed a Drug Enforcement Unit that has aggressively enforced drug violations here in Yadkin County. The Sheriff’s Office has conducted drug roundups consistently every three to four months taking many of our local drug dealers off the street. These local drug dealers are the ones that sell to our students and the local drug users of this county. Under the leadership of Major Darrell Hutchens we have developed a very aggressive Criminal Investigative Unit that has arrested numerous criminals for property crimes. They are using modern technology to solve cases that have gone unsolved in the past. The Sheriff’s Office now has a Crime Prevention Unit that has provided crime prevention techniques and education to many of our citizens. This unit has focused on our youth in the school system and our seniors who are most vulnerable to crime. We have recently added two School Resource Officers to help combat crime at our schools and keep them safe.”


Q: If elected, what will you continue to do to reduce crime in the county?


A: If elected, I will not make the citizens of this county promises that I cannot keep. New personnel, equipment, training and new programs require funds that must be approved by the Board of Commissioners. The only promise that I will make is to continue my hard work and dedication to the citizens of Yadkin County. The Sheriff’s Office will continue its open door policy to the concerns of our citizens and our commitment to service. I will continue to advance my priorities of drug enforcement, reduction in property crime and a strong crime prevention program.”


Q: If you could say one thing to Yadkin County voters heading to the polls on May 6, what would it be?


A: “I would ask the voters of Yadkin County to take a hard look at my qualifications and background in comparison to the other candidates. Also, look at the progress we have made over the past three years in promoting crime prevention programs, reducing property crimes, and drug enforcement. If you feel that this agency is moving in the right direction and you want a Sheriff’s Office that is professional and one that you can be proud of, vote Ricky Oliver for Sheriff.”


Eric Ball


Q: Is there any biographical information you would like the public to know about you and your family?


A: “I’m 39 years old and a lifelong resident of Yadkin County. I’m the son of former Sheriff Ronnie Ball and Regina Ball. I’ve been married to Alison Cook Ball for 12 years. I have two beautiful daughters, Alexis and Natalie. My family and I currently attend Union Grove Baptist Church.”


Q: What is your educational background? (Please list any college or other law enforcement training or certifications you may have.)


A: “I graduated from Starmount High School. I attended Basic Law Enforcement Training at Surry Community College. I’ve also graduated from Specialized Narcotics Training at the DEA Training Academy in Quantico, VA. I completed The Paul Cash Safety Force Training in Effective Leadership I and II.”


Q: What is your career/law enforcement background?


A: “I began working under Sheriff Cain in 1998 and served as a Patrol Deputy. In 2004 I was promoted to Narcotics Detective and also worked as a case detective. I was hired by the Jonesville Police Department in 2007 as Lieutenant Detective and over Patrol. In 2008 I returned to Yadkin County Sheriff’s office as Patrol Sergeant and served the citizens of Yadkin County in this position for six years. In 2014 I resigned my position with the Sheriff’s office in order to seek election for Sheriff of Yadkin County.”


Q: Why are you running for Yadkin County Sheriff?


A: “I’ve spent my life serving to protect the citizens of Yadkin County and wish to continue. My experiences have helped me to formulate a proactive plan of action that I believe will help push crime from our county.”


Q: What do you think are the top crime issues in Yadkin County and what have you been doing to address those issues?


A: “There are always the issues of drugs and break-ins which usually go hand-in-hand. I plan to reinstate the Yadkin County Drug Task Force, reinstate Highway Drug Interdiction and fill the position in our Criminal Investigation Division which will bring additional leadership and knowledge to that area. We also need to focus our attention on scams on our seniors and identity theft issues. Without community education and aggressive prosecution, these computer generated thefts can deplete a family’s finances overnight.”


Q: If you could say one thing to Yadkin County voters heading to the polls on May 6, what would it be?


A: “Check out my Facebook page – Eric Ball for Sheriff for additional information and upcoming events. I appreciate your time and consideration and humbly ask for your vote in our primary. May God bless you.”


Donnie Talley


Q: Is there any biographical information you would like the public to know about you and your family?


A: “I was born and raised here in Yadkin County, just as my parents before me. I have spent the majority of my life serving the people of this great county. I have been married to my lovely wife for almost 12 years. Currently we live in the same house I grew up in here in Yadkinville.”


Q: What is your educational background? (Please list any college, law enforcement training or other certifications you may have.)


A: “In 1978 I graduated with an Associate degree in Police Science at Forsyth Tech in Winston Salem. In the past, I have been certified in Traffic Radar, Breathalyzer intoxilyzer, Traffic Accident Investigation and First Line supervision. I also have over 3,200 hours in Law Enforcement training.”


Q: What is your career/law enforcement background?


A: “At 18, I began working as Jailor/Telecommunicater for Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office. After 18 months, I began working for the Yadkinville Police department as a patrol officer. Within two years I was promoted to sergeant. I did that for 12 and a half years until I was promoted to Detective Sergeant. During my time as Detective Sergeant, I worked five years doing undercover narcotics. In 1998, I began working again for the Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office. During this tenure I worked as a detention officer, school resource officer, narcotics and criminal investigation detective.”


Q: Why are you running for Yadkin County Sheriff?


A: “I decided to run for Sheriff because I have a certain vision of how the Sheriff’s Office should be run. We need a more proactive Sheriff who works with the citizens of this county. I also feel in order to be a Sheriff, you must lead by example. That would include being out on the streets making sure not only are the citizens voices being heard, but those meant to serve them are doing the duties bestowed upon them. We need a Sheriff’s Office who doesn’t make a spectacle of cracking down on drugs and crime. Instead, we need a Sheriff’s Office that constantly works to rid the county of illicit drugs and criminal activity all of the time, not just during election time.


“I also feel the need to bring back the Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) which I believe would be a valuable asset to Yadkin County. Also, I would like to appoint someone in charge of CID whose sole purpose is to make sure it is run efficiently and who can provide the leadership needed. Not someone who has multiple other responsibilities to worry about.


“Finally, I have heard from many of the people within the county who are unsatisfied with how the Sheriff’s Office is being ran. My goal is to serve those within Yadkin County to the best of my abilities and restore their faith in that of the Sheriff’s Office.”


Q: What do you think are the top crime issues in Yadkin County and how do you plan to address those issues.


A: “I believe the main issues within Yadkin are drugs, theft and domestic violence. Taking care of the criminal elements in Yadkin County would require a Sheriff who gets out and takes the proactive approach from day one. I have heard from many of the citizens within Yadkin County who feel as if nothing is being done to address their concerns. My office will have an open door policy, so if you have any issues, concerns or suggestions, I will do my best to make time to address them with you.


“I believe that having officers who can spot the signs of domestic violence can make a better on the spot assessment and can get those in need, the help they can. Also, making sure victims of domestic violence are aware of the Sparrow House here in Yadkin County can give them a way to get out of a volatile situation.”


Q: If you could say one thing to Yadkin County voters heading to the polls on May 6, what would it be?


A: “The main thing I would have to say to those of Yadkin County would be to just make sure you go vote. Voting is how the voices of the people are heard. If you are not satisfied with any of your elected officials, then voting is your time to let them know just how you feel. No matter the outcome, I will support whomever the people of our great county choose for Sheriff. Thank you all.”


Gary Willard


Q: Is there any biographical information you would like the public to know about you and your family?


A: “Lifetime resident of Yadkin County. Family owned, Ace’s Restaurant for 20+ years, which was a very successful and well-managed establishment, allowing me to meet many of the fine citizens of Yadkin County.”


Q: What is your educational background? (Please list any college, law enforcement training or other certifications you may have.)


A: Prior employment included Salem Electric, Deep Creek Electric, Johnson Modern Electric and C.W. Electric.


Q: What is your career/law enforcement background?


A: “I have management skills and a highly qualified Major with 45 years experience in law enforcement with Winston-Salem Police Department, including 15 years in drug enforcement, to enable me to perform the duties of the office of Sheriff. Another representative has 25 years in law enforcement with the Mecklenburg County. If elected, it will be my honor to work with these men to achieve the goals I have set to improve the quality of the sheriff’s department and our community leadership.”


Q: Why are you running for Yadkin County Sheriff?


A: “To provide the citizens of Yadkin County optimum efficiency in managing the sheriff’s staff. This system would protect our youth which is the backbone and future leaders of our communities.”


Q: What do you think are the top crime issues in Yadkin County and how do you plan to address those issues.


A: “Prescription drug abuse - controlled substances have a paper trail, therefore, strict monitoring with today’s technology can easily be enforced relentlessly.”


Q: If you could say one thing to Yadkin County voters heading to the polls on May 6, what would it be?


A: “Thank you for your support. Vote Gary Willard as your next Sheriff.”


 
 
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