VAN BUREN — The brand new sheriff of Crawford County mentioned he intends to observe the trail laid out by his predecessor.
Chief Deputy Jim Damante, 58, turned sheriff following the resignation of Ron Brown from the place efficient midnight Tuesday. Damante will function sheriff till Brown’s four-year time period expires Dec. 31, 2022, though he will not be capable to run for the place within the 2022 election, in line with the county Clerk’s Workplace.
Damante mentioned Tuesday he has “massive footwear to fill” taking Brown’s place.
“He is performed a unbelievable job,” Damante mentioned. “We had a imaginative and prescient collectively that we have labored in the direction of, and I’ll proceed on with that for the rest of what would have been his time period.”
Damante mentioned the Sheriff’s Workplace will proceed to concentrate on integrity and accountability for itself, in addition to service to county residents. He additionally talked about he want to safe pay raises for his staff.
“I’ll maintain my individuals accountable and make it possible for they’ve the coaching, the data, the expertise and the gear to observe out and be capable to help the individuals in something they want,” Damante mentioned.
Damante mentioned he has labored within the Sheriff’s Workplace for about 22 years. He is served on the division’s particular weapons and ways crew and within the patrol, prison investigation, dive crew and mounted patrol divisions. He was named chief deputy in 2011.
The workplace has 79 staff along with the sheriff and his chief deputy. Its funds for 2021 is $6.1 million, a spokesman for the sheriff’s workplace mentioned.
County Choose Dennis Gilstrap mentioned the lengthy tenure is what stands out essentially the most to him about Damante. He additionally believes different Sheriff’s Workplace staff belief Damante.
“I do know that, on my behalf, and I really feel like with the opposite elected officers, that confidence is there,” Gilstrap mentioned. “That is the large half. It is easy to help somebody that you’ve got confidence in.”
Roger Atwell, justice of the peace for District 13 on the Quorum Court docket, equally cited Damante’s years of expertise and help for him amongst Sheriff’s Workplace employees as to why he believed Damante would carry out properly in his new job.
The Quorum Court docket on Aug. 16 declaring a emptiness within the sheriff’s place efficient midnight Tuesday whereas appointing Damante to fill the place on the similar time, the County Clerk’s Workplace said.
Brown, who first turned sheriff on Jan. 1, 2011, mentioned he requested if Damante might be appointed interim sheriff in his discover of retirement to Gilstrap in July. He has little doubt Damante will each proceed what they constructed on and do issues “on his personal accord” to hold on with the division’s integrity and professionalism.
“After I turned sheriff, he was my first and solely selection for chief deputy as a result of we labored collectively so lengthy, and we’ve got a number of the identical concepts, and our policing profession relies on honesty and integrity and professionalism, and we share that,” Brown mentioned. “I simply know that he’ll proceed that.”
Brown mentioned his aim was to retire after serving in regulation enforcement for 30 years. He got here to the Sheriff’s Workplace in 2005 as a chief deputy beneath Sheriff Mike Allen, previous to which they’d each served within the Alma Police Division.
Arkansas voters in 2016 accredited an modification to the state structure that prolonged the phrases of workplace for sure elected county officers, together with sheriffs, from two to 4 years.
“I am not leaving for any unhealthy purpose or any unhealthy factor,” Brown mentioned. “I am simply leaving as a result of I really feel prefer it’s time in my life to retire.”
Damante mentioned he does not intend to run for sheriff in 2026. He as a substitute plans to retire after 2022.
“After I end out, it will be 39 years in regulation enforcement, and it will be an excellent ending, and I am proud the sheriff has entrusted me with taking the reins and ending this out,” Damante mentioned. “It’s going to be ending for me.”
Capt. James Mirus of the Sheriff’s Workplace mentioned nobody had been chosen to fill Damante’s chief deputy place as of Tuesday.
Jim Damante, the brand new sheriff of Crawford County, proper, speaks whereas outgoing Sheriff Ron Brown, left, listens through the retirement social gathering for Brown on the Crawford County Emergency Operations Middle in Van Buren Tuesday.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Saccente)
The Crawford County sheriff place comes with an annual wage of $58,798.
Supply: Crawford County Clerk’s Workplace