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Chief Deputy announces run for Sheriff

Tuesday, Chief Deputy Mark Lucas announced that he will run for Anderson County Sheriff in the August 2018 election, seeking to succeed his current boss, Sheriff Paul White, who will retire at the end of this, his third term in office.

Lucas is a veteran law enforcement officer, having begun his career in Knox County back in 1978, and joining the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department the following year. After a stint with the Clinton Police Department in the early 1990s, Lucas was named Chief Deputy of the ACSD in 1994 and has held that position for over 22 years, serving under three different sheriffs in that time.

In his announcement, which you can read in its entirety on www.wyshradio.com, Lucas touts his extensive training, including in command-level management and supervision, as well as his varied experience within the department, which has included everything from dispatch to jailer to courtroom security.

In the announcement, Lucas also talks about his efforts to improve the Department’s technology, including equipping deputies’ patrol cars with laptop computers to help file reports and check information without having to leave their patrols. He also states that “emphasis has been placed on enforcement for the prevention, detection, and investigation of crimes.” Those efforts, the announcement says, have paid off with a steep decrease in reported crimes between 2007 and 2015 of 68%, and a higher crime clearance rate.

Chief Lucas concluded the release by stating: “It has been a great honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Anderson County over the last twenty-two years as Chief Deputy. 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.”

Lucas is the first person to formally announce their intentions to run for Sheriff in 2018.

(Campaign announcement) Chief Deputy Mark Lucas announced [Tuesday] he will be seeking the Office of Anderson County Sheriff in the 2018 election. Sheriff Paul White will be retiring at the end of his third term which ends in August of 2018.

Mark Lucas is a veteran law enforcement officer with thirty-nine years of experience. Mark 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. Mark was promoted to patrol supervisor in 1986 and held that position until 1990. From 1990 until 1994, Mark worked for the Clinton Police Department where he also served as patrol supervisor.

In 1994, Mark Lucas was appointed Chief Deputy with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department and has held that position for more than twenty-two years. Mark has the unique distinction of serving as Chief Deputy under three different Sheriffs.

Mark 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. Mark 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 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.

Crime prevention and programs such as Neighborhood Watch were implemented and have helped to reduce crime in Anderson County. 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, Mark helped forge close relationships with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. These relationships have resulted in numerous joint investigations both for illegal drug activity as well as the investigation of burglaries and thefts.

Mark 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. 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.

Mark worked to implement a partnership with the Anderson County Board of Education and the Anderson County School System which has allowed eight sheriff’s 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. New programs in our schools, such as Law Enforcement Against Drugs, teach our children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

These efforts have made a difference.

The overall number of crimes reported to the Sheriff’s Department have decreased almost 68% 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. 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 assists 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 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. With thirty-nine years of law enforcement experience and over twenty-two 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 twenty-two years as Chief Deputy. 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.” Chief Deputy Mark Lucas The Mark Lucas For Sheriff Campaign may be reached at 865-307-0973 or by email at MarkLucasForSheriff@gmail.com.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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