LAMAR COUNTY, Miss. (WHLT) – Incumbent Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel is looking to voters to re-elect him on Tuesday, November 7.
The long-term sheriff has served for nearly 20 years and is seeking his sixth term as sheriff.
Rigel has served since 2004, but he said there’s still more that he would like to accomplish. He wants to provide a better facility for those committed to mental health treatment.
“If you’re committed in Chancery Court for treatment, you have to stay in a county jail unless you have someplace else to hold them. But the majority of the sheriff’s departments in the state, you have to put them in jail. That’s not fair to them because they’re not inmates,” he said.
Rigel is also looking to expand jail time for violent criminals and repeat offenders.
“The word getting out on the street to these individuals is that we’re not playing, and we’re not. We’ve had way too many people hurt and injured, and we’re not tolerating it,” Rigel said.
The sheriff said involving the community has been the key to his success.
“Instead of just taking a report over the phone and writing down somebody’s name, we actually do a report called a directed patrol. They say we’ve had speeding on so and so road, or they’re running a stop sign on this road, they’re running a red light at Walmart or whatever. Well, we fill out a form, and we assign, in their spare time, a deputy to go out there and work in that area,” he stated.
If re-elected, Rigel also plans to work with other agencies to stop drug trafficking in the county.
Rigel faces a former member of the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office, James Murray, on the ballot.