Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nassau Undersheriff, Former Deputy Run for County Sheriff

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nassau Undersheriff, Former Deputy Run for County Sheriff

Article excerpt

Byline: DEREK L. KINNER, Nassau Neighbors staff writer

Two men who started their law enforcement careers in Nassau County want to finish them there. So both are running for sheriff.

Undersheriff Tommy Seagraves is facing former deputy Ben McCorkel in the Nov. 2 election. Sheriff Ray Geiger, who initially planned to run for re-election, said he decided to retire to spend more time with his family.

McCorkel said his most important issues are maintaining a strong police presence and giving good service, as well as respect, to Nassau County residents.

Seagraves views budgetary control and recruiting and keeping good officers as his major issues.

McCorkel, who worked security for the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base for a decade and a half, said he can stay within the current Sheriff's Office budget to add more deputy presence on the streets.

"I will take and work the budget," McCorkel said. "I had 16 years of managing a multi-million-dollar line-item budget. I can take the current budget and rearrange things to put more officers on the street. Also, by making a stronger drug task force, we can take the confiscated drug money to put back in the department to work for the citizens by putting more law enforcement on the road.

He also said he'll offer more training, at least eight hours a month, in dealing respectfully with citizens.

"For all the employees, not just deputies. I have a creed that I will go by and all the employees of the Sheriff's Department will go by: The citizen is the most important person in the county," McCorkel said.

McCorkel said his experience in law enforcement qualifies him for the job.

"I have more than 28 years of law enforcement experience in Nassau County, with the Fernandina Beach Police Department, the Florida Highway Patrol auxiliary and 16 years at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia. I'm going to be a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week sheriff," McCorkel said.

Seagraves said the Sheriff's Office already has computer software that can help employees track expenditures. …

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