May 12, 2010 Edition

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Three vying for sheriff



Gretchen Hunt

Three candidates are vying for the office of sheriff in Tuesday's Democratic Primary. There are no Republican candidates for the position.

County sheriff Dan Ellison announced earlier this year that he would not be seeking re-election. Those running for the office are Jody Dotson of Lynn, Lewis Slaughter of Black Rock and Glen Smith of Imboden.

Dotson is currently captain with the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department, where he has worked for 10 years. He also previously worked at the Walnut Ridge Police Department.

He is a 2002 graduate of the Black River Technical College basic police academy and earned his criminal justice degree from BRTC in 2004. He has also had specialized training in various areas of law enforcement, including training with the FBI, DEA, Criminal Justice Institute, Arkansas State Police and FEMA.

He has lived in Lawrence County most of his life and attended school at Lynn. He and his wife, Karla, have two children, Logan, 14, and Lauren, 13, who attend school at Hillcrest.

"It has been an honor to serve the people of Lawrence County for the past 10 years, and I would consider it a privilege to continue to do so," Dotson said.

Slaughter has served two terms on the Lawrence County Quorum Court and has been active in his support of local community projects.

A licensed auctioneer, he owns Black Rock Auction. Both as an individual, and through his business, Slaughter has supported non-profit organizations and local projects by schools, fire departments and other organizations.

His public service has also included serving as a governing board member of the Black River Area Development Corporation, serving as chair of the Hoxie and Walnut Ridge Rails to Trails Committee and membership in the Kiwanis Club and Lions Club.

"When elected sheriff, I promise an open door policy," Slaughter said. "You'll be able to talk to me anytime. I will also continue to work with Lawrence County community service organizations, which is a part of my life whether it is election time or not."

Smith has been in law enforcement for 19 years and is currently serving as chief of police for Hoxie. He began his service at the Hoxie Police Department in 1991. He then worked for the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department, the Arkansas Highway Police and the Trumann Police Department before returning to Hoxie.

A graduate of Pocahontas High School, he completed the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy in 1992-93 and attended the Arkansas Highway Police Recruits School in 1999-2000.

He and his wife, Tara, have a son, Zachary, who is a kindergarten student at Sloan-Hendrix School. He also has two sons, Hunter Smith, who is a graduate of Hoxie High School, and Jake Smith, who is a junior at HHS.

"I pledge to be a full-time sheriff with an open-door policy," Smith said. "I think with my 19 years of law enforcement experience I am a good candidate for this job. I appreciate all the support I have received."

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