Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth will continue into his sixth term following his swearing-in ceremony on Sunday in front of a crowd of supporters and loved ones.
Stanforth talked Monday about his tenure as sheriff and said that it was an honor to have been elected once, but he never dreamed he would be sheriff this long. Going into his 20th year, Stanforth is now the longest tenured sheriff in Fayette County history. He admitted he hadn’t thought about it much, but said he just continues to try his hardest for the community.
“This is home and you try and run the office like you would a home, and try to make it a family,” Stanforth said. “We have a lot of good deputies that work for us. We are a growing agency and you always try to meet up with the growing demands. The technologies have changed drastically over the past 20 years and they keep changing. Every few years we have something new that comes along. So we try to stay on top of those things around here, we are a small agency with limited resources, but we try and stay on top of them.”
Stanforth, during his tenure, has served on the Ohio Peace Office Training Commission for 17 years and served as chairman the last 11 years. He said seeing all of the changes in law enforcement and being a part of those has been an honor.
“I have been able to represent Fayette County on the state and national level,” Stanforth said. “The relationships we have had with the sheriffs across the country have shown that we all go through the same issues, regardless of the size. Whether six or 600, they have the same issues and problems in their communities.”
As the community rests from a weekend of celebrating the new year, Stanforth said he is hoping to accomplish some work on a new jail facility that he said will hopefully serve the community for generations.
“We make goals each term and we have accomplished nearly every goal that has been set,” Stanforth said. “We are very satisfied with what we have been able to do these last 20 years. Now the reality is we have a new police and fire department – both of which were much needed – new city schools, new county schools, the county high school is well on its way, and now it’s time to focus onto corrections. We have the oldest jail in the state of Ohio being operated. It is 133 years old and its time we have a look at things.”
Stanforth said that will be his primary focus over the next four years and that he wants to create a facility that is user-friendly and serves its purpose. He also thanked his supporters and the people of Fayette County.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy