Ferrell, Moore facing off for Mississippi County sheriff

Thursday, July 30, 2020

CHARLESTON, Mo. — When Mississippi County voters step up to the polls during Tuesday’s Primary Election, they will choose between their current sheriff Britton H. Ferrell and former sheriff Keith Moore.

Ferrell and Moore are the sole candidates on the Republican ballot for sheriff, and because there are no Democratic candidates, the winner of the Primary Election will serve as sheriff of Mississippi County.

To better help voters make their decisions, both Ferrell and Moore were contacted by the Standard Democrat to complete a candidate questionnaire at no charge to them. Only Ferrell responded, and the following are the questions and his responses.

In 100 words or less, describe your background (family, career, social clubs):

Ferrell: I’m a lifelong resident of Mississippi County, graduate of East Prairie High School, Mississippi State University and graduate of the Southeast Missouri State University Law Enforcement Academy. I am the son of Marilyn Ferrell of Charleston and the late Fred Ferrell, married to Anna Ferrell for 24 years and proud father of Will and Elise. I’m a member of the Charleston United Methodist Church, Lay Speaker, Angel Tree Christmas Program, Shining Light Outreach Center and member of the NAACP. With 12 years of law enforcement experience, I have moved the county forward with better trained staff and improved community relations. 

In 100 words or less, what do you think the biggest issue the sheriff is likely to face during your term if elected?

Ferrell: We battled the budget and worked with our commissioners. The Sheriff’s Office attended regularly scheduled budget meetings and continually engaged in discussions with our county commissioners regarding funding for our county law enforcement and jail. In 2019, we proudly ended with a positive balance of $47,748.10 operating from a $1.8 million budget. Overcoming a financial deficit in the Sheriff’s Office from previous sheriffs who operated in deficits on a $2.8 million budget. We will continue to fight the budget as we seek additional sources of revenue for the Sheriff’s Office to fund additional staffing, facility maintenance, equipment and training.

In 100 words or less, what issues do you think are the most important to county?

Ferrell: The most important issues facing Mississippi County are improved community relations, combating drugs, providing mental health and substance abuse prevention programs and increased revenue for our county.  Mississippi county suffers from a lack of industry which is much needed to improve the overall economic growth. A poor economy leads to an increase in crime and substance abuse. We need more deputies to increase patrolling and improve service and response time for all situations.

In 100 words or less, if elected, what are your goals?

Ferrell: With your continued support, I will keep fighting to make Mississippi County a safer and great place to raise our families. Combating drugs, advocating for child and elder abuse victims and locking up those who choose to violate our laws are my highest priorities. We will continue to improve relationships and communication with area agencies and organizations who provide valuable resources to a county our size. All employees of the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office will continue training and education in their job duties. We will provide additional training for cultural diversity and inclusion as well CIT (Crisis Intervention Training).

In 200 words or less, why should the voters pick you (experience or other)?

Ferrell: Wearing a badge is not about power! It’s about respect for all and carries great responsibility to uphold the law. Being sheriff is more than an ego-trip or a paycheck, it’s about honesty, fairness and hard work. In 2019, I moved the Sheriff’s Office forward with trained staff and improved community relations. We tripled the number of traffic stops, worked within our budget and generated new revenue for the Sheriff’s Office. Our drug, gun and burglary cases resulted in federal indictments and convictions to get these drug dealers and criminals off our streets once and for all. All of this was accomplished with only seven commissioned officers to cover 429 square miles. My staff and I work diligently to improve the jail. We increased correctional staff training in areas of mental health awareness, verbal de-escalation techniques. We made equipment upgrades such as radios, body cameras; we improved report writing and court testimony. Most importantly, there were no inmate deaths and no new lawsuits while I have been sheriff. We’ve seen real positive change. Now, it’s time to keep our county moving forward. I humbly ask you to re-elect me, Britton Ferrell, on Aug. 4.

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