Mark Counts has announced his intention to run for the position of Sharp County Sheriff in the 2010 Democratic Primary. Counts has 12 years law enforcement experience in Sharp County, for both Cave City and the Sharp County Sheriff's Department. His experience includes working as a patrol officer, Deputy Sheriff, and with Sharp County's Criminal Investigation Department (CID). He was promoted as detective sergeant for CID and currently holds this position.
Counts is a 1994 Highland High School graduate. He completed reserve officer training in 1997. His wide array of training, includes domestic violence, clandestine methamphetamine lab certification, and attendance at yearly major case conferences, as well as the ongoing continuous education required to keep up-to-date and one step ahead of criminals -- are all viable assets to the department. He has the law enforcement experience and vital training required to be an effective Sheriff, he said.
During Counts law enforcement career he has gained crucial insight through both extensive training and hands on experience into the inner workings of the sheriff's department. Counts knows how each respective position works in unison to assist the entire department in serving and protecting the public. Counts works over 200 cases a year in the CID and has an excellent record in solving cases. This is something he attributes to the good working relationship the department has with other city's police departments and the state police.
The Sharp County Sheriff's Department is a small department, and the environment fosters both friendships and teamwork. Counts said his current job entails many things besides the investigation aspect, including filing and paperwork, attending regulatory meetings and patrolling.
When asked why he wanted to run for sheriff, Counts said, "I just like helping people. To me it is far more than a title." He is admittedly not a politician, but said he would like to be the type of sheriff that would be available at any hour, listening and helping citizens with their concerns. He said he felt compelled to run for Sheriff as a result of experiences obtained from his current position. Counts said, "The most encouraging part of my job is being able to help victims of all crimes." He went on to explain when a person has been victimized, it is not just the loss of items or the pain inflicted from the crime, it is also the mental aspect of feeling violated, and by solving the crimes, Counts said he returns a sense of safety and well being to the victims, "That is a good feeling," he said.
He also commended Sheriff Dale Weaver on moving the department forward. He said Weaver provided new equipment to the officers including patrol cars, guns and other equipment as well as the establishment of a Web site. Counts said Weaver has utilized all resources to insure the department was technologically up-to-date with other departments and also applied for grants when possible. Because technology is ever-changing, this is something that Counts said he would like to continue. He plans to continue moving the Sharp County Sheriff's Department forward if elected.
Counts has a vested interest in Sharp County. He, his wife Sonya, and their five children make their home in Cave City where they operate a small cattle farm. His wife works for the Cave City School District. The family is active members of the First Freewill Baptist Church of Cave City. Counts is deeply rooted in the county and his parents Larry and Joanne Counts live in Cherokee Village.
He looks forward to the opportunity to serve the community. He would appreciate the public's support in his campaign for sheriff. Counts welcomes calls from anyone with questions or concerns to call him at 870-283-5576.