Madison County sheriff candidates make their case to voters
JACKSON, Tenn. — Two candidates are running for the Madison County sheriff race: Independent candidate Marc Byrum, and Republican candidate Julian Wiser.
Byrum says he is familiar with the way the sheriff’s department runs.
“I was with the sheriff’s department for 25 years. The last three and a half years I was there, I was over the SWAT and firearms program. Having been there 25 years, I decided I know how to do a few things better, and I think I can make the place more efficient and provide a better level of service to the community,” Byrum said.
He says there are a few things that he says needs to be addressed.
“One of our biggest problems are drugs. I spent 15 years in the narcotics unit, and my last six and a half there, I was unit commander. We’ve had an explosion of fentanyl in this community. We are having overdoses almost on a daily basis. We’ve got to do something about that problem. We have to go after the dealers and the organizations that are distributing the stuff amongst our community. One of the priorities is to get the new jail addition open. If we can’t staff it, they will not certify. It will not open. We have got to get the staff in place for that. Part of the way that we do that is we are going to have to raise the pay,” Byrum said.
Byrum says his background is what sets him apart as a candidate.
“I am familiar with them. I can hit the ground running on day one. There won’t be any lag time for me to learn the job, essentially. Whatever money they give me for my budget that year I will stay within it. I will continually look for ways to make things more efficient and reduce cost,” Byrum said.
Wiser says he also wants to hit the ground running.
“I spent 25 years with the Jackson Police Department. The last seven years, I was the police chief. The first thing I am going to do is, it is going to take some time, but I’m going to talk to every employee at the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and we are going to evaluate and move forward from there,” Wiser said.
He says if elected, these are the issues he would address.
“I think we have to continue to work together as a community. I think our priority right now is school safety and security. We have to prioritize that to make sure all of our kids are safe in our schools. Continue to focus on violent crime, drug, and gang activities, work with our district attorneys, our state and federal partners, to continue to have an impact on our community, along with building strong community relationships,” Wiser said.
Wiser says his experience sets him apart as a candidate.
“I spent the last seven years as a police chief. I have managed the $22 million budget. Came in under budget every year, managed 250 employees, sworn in and civilian. I already have a lot of relationships established with county commissioners, people in county government, people in the community, our pastors, and we can go on the first day and hit the ground running and make a difference in Madison County. I have spent my whole life serving the community in law enforcement, and whether it is serving in law enforcement, or serving with the United States Marine Corp., I just want to continue to serve our county as the next sheriff,” Wiser said.