Anderson County Chief Deputy Mark Lucas announced Tuesday that he is running for sheriff in the 2018 election.
Anderson County Sheriff Paul White is retiring at the end of his third term, which ends in August 2018, a press release said.
The press release said Lucas is a veteran law enforcement officer with 39 years of experience. He began his career as a reserve deputy with Knox County in 1978. He joined the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department a year later and worked as a dispatcher and a jailer before being assigned to patrol in 1980. Lucas was promoted to patrol supervisor in 1986 and held that position until 1990. From 1990 until 1994, he worked for the Clinton Police Department, where he also served as patrol supervisor.
In 1994, Lucas was appointed chief deputy with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, and he has held that position for more than 22 years. He has the unique distinction of serving as chief deputy under three different sheriffs, the press release said.
The release said Lucas has received extensive training in many areas of law enforcement throughout his career including command-level management and supervision.
“From community policing to criminal investigations, jail management, and court security, as well as communications, incident command, and emergency management, Mark has a vast knowledge of public safety operations,” the press release said.
Lucas is also a graduate of the F.B.I. Law Enforcement Executive Development Program.
“During his tenure as chief deputy, Mark had the opportunity to implement many ideas and practices as to how the Sheriff’s Department could meet the needs of the community,” the press release said. “The department has been reorganized to be more efficient, more effective, and more proactive.”
Emphasis has been placed on enforcement for the prevention, detection, and investigation of crimes, the press release said.
“Crime prevention and programs such as Neighborhood Watch were implemented and have helped to reduce crime in Anderson County,” the release said. “A crime prevention officer was established and has allowed the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department to interact with the community and use their help to thwart criminals.”
As chief deputy, Lucas helped forge close relationships with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, the press release said.
“These relationships have resulted in numerous joint investigations both for illegal drug activity as well as the investigation of burglaries and thefts,” the release said.
It said Lucas has moved the Sheriff’s Department into the new age of technology.
“Crime analysis and a daily crime report have allowed deputies to patrol in areas where crimes are occurring,” the press release said. “Deputies now have laptop computers in patrol cars, which allow them to remain out in the community instead of driving back to the office to fill out reports.”
The release said Lucas has worked to implement a partnership with the Anderson County Board of Education and the Anderson County School System, which has allowed eight Sheriff’s Department deputies to be assigned as school resource officers in the county school system.
“These deputies not only serve as protectors of our students and staff but also as teachers, coaches, and mentors for our youth,” the release said. “New programs in our schools, such as Law Enforcement Against Drugs, teach our children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.”
The efforts have made a difference, the press release said. The overall number of crimes reported to the Sheriff’s Department have decreased almost 68 percent from 2007 to 2015.
“This drop in crime can be directly attributed to proactive law enforcement, increased patrols of the rural areas of the county, and enhanced criminal investigations,” the release said. “In addition, the crime clearance rate has improved significantly during this time.”
The sheriff has the responsibility to provide law enforcement services to the residents of Anderson County. This not only includes patrolling the county roads and answering calls, but investigating crimes and illegal activity. The sheriff also helps the municipal police departments when needed and provides many other law enforcement services throughout the entire county.
One of the sheriff’s most significant duties is the operation of the county jail, the press release said. The sheriff’s responsibilities also include transporting prisoners, providing security to the courts, serving criminal warrants and civil process, 9-1-1 communications, and many other duties set forth by state law. The majority of the duties of the Sheriff’s Department are done countywide, in each of the cities, not just in the rural areas.
“Chief Deputy Mark Lucas is uniquely qualified to be sheriff of Anderson County,” the press release said. “With 39 years of law enforcement experience and over 22 years as chief deputy, Mark has the knowledge, ability, and dedication to serve the citizens of Anderson County. From patrol and investigations, to the jail and the courts, and the service of civil process and criminal warrants, Mark knows the many duties and enormous responsibilities of the Office of the Sheriff. His leadership has brought the Sheriff’s Department to the forefront of law enforcement agencies in Tennessee and, today, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department is among the best in the state. Mark offers proven leadership to the Office of Anderson County Sheriff.”
“It has been a great honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Anderson County over the last 22 years as chief deputy,” Lucas said. “If the people of Anderson County honor me with their support in the 2018 elections, I will continue to work tirelessly with the dedicated men and women of the Sheriff’s Department to keep Anderson County one of the safest in Tennessee.”
The Mark Lucas For Sheriff Campaign can be reached by phone at (865) 307-0973 or by email at [email protected].
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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