Craighead County Sheriff Race Heats Up

May 17, 2006--Posted at 5:00 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR--The race for Craighead County Sheriff is heating up. John Shipman is taking a vacation from his job with the Jonesboro Police Department and has spent the last couple weeks going door to door starting at 6:30 a.m. and campaigning until 9 or 10 at night.

"I think it is just time that someone steps in that is ready to get out there and go after it. I believe I am that person," said Shipman.

While John Shipman is a current member of the Jonesboro Police Department, the incumbent, Sheriff Jack McCann, is a former member of the Jonesboro Police Department. McCann feels experience is the key to the job.

"Because I do the best job, I have been in police work since 1973, and been sheriff since 1999," said McCann.

Sheriff McCann feels he has helped to modernize the sheriff department since taking over 7 years ago, but believes he can take the department even farther. Both McCann and Shipman agree on the biggest problem facing Craighead County.

"Same thing it has always been. The drug problem is the biggest issue that this county or the state has," said McCann.

In addition to stepping up the fight against drugs, Shipman has some other initiatives he hopes to push if elected. 

"I want to beef up patrols in the rural parts of the county, because currently residential burglaries are at an all time high," said Shipman.

With over 100 employees that manage over 300 inmates a day, the man who is Craighead County Sheriff must be devoted to the position.

"With a 6 million dollar budget this is a major operation, it takes a lot of effort to keep this place going, and running half way smoothly," said McCann.

Both McCann and Shipman feel they are up to the task.

"I love my job. I loved it since the first day in 1973. I still love it and feel I have a lot to offer," said McCann.

"I am going to show the guys they have a working mans sheriff, a hands on sheriff, one that is going to get out there, and get the job done with them," said Shipman.