Jeff Nelson, Jeff Blackstone running for Chambers County Sheriff

Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 4:29 PM EDT
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CHAMBERS COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - Chambers County voters will elect a new sheriff in November. Longtime sheriff Sid Lockhart will retire following 40 years of service.

Republican Jeff Nelson and Democrat Jeff Blackstone both agree that following in the footsteps of Sheriff Lockhart will be a challenge and they both have plans to keep people in Chambers County safe.

Jeff Nelson and Jeff Blackstone are both running to be the next sheriff of Chambers County.

Nelson has worked in multiple law enforcement positions for 31 years and recently retired in February of 2022, now full-time, campaigning for the position. Nelson said he has been working with the county commission to review the budget for the sheriff’s department with a focus on recruitment and training.

“If I can get these guys the most training, education, knowledge, skills, that I can get these guys and girls. I can get these guys on the road the serve the citizens of Chambers County,” said Nelson.

Blackstone said he’s been with Chambers County sheriff’s department for around 20 years and says once Lockhart announced his retirement, he knew he wanted to run for the sheriff’s position.

“The sheriff we have now has great policies, and I don’t intend on changing any of those policies. Now once I get in, and I see something that’s not working, I’ll make change,” said Blackstone.

Both candidates want to bring back the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program to teach kids at a young age to resist drugs and violence.

The candidates do differ when it comes to plans for the department’s helicopters. Currently, Chambers County has two helicopters provided by the government, but the equipment is expensive to maintain.

Nelson said grounding the helicopters means more money to upgrade critical equipment for deputies and patrol cars.

“They give you the helicopter for free, but that’s where it stops. You pay for the fuel. You pay for the maintenance, the pilots. We have access to one out of Montgomery, and it is free, doesn’t cost us a dime,” said Nelson.

Blackstone said he plans on keeping the helicopters within Chambers County… stating the 30-minute wait time from Montgomery costs too much time.

“We got a helicopter right here; we can put in the air right then. We can find a lost child; we can find a senior citizen with Alzheimer’s. I fully intend on keeping aviation,” said Blackstone.