Jones easily re-elected as Butler County sheriff

Incumbent Republican Sheriff Richard Jones commanded a large lead throughout Election Night over Democratic challenger Dale Richter for Butler County sheriff.

With all 282 precincts reporting, Jones was ahead 72.5 percent to Richter’s 27.5 percent, according to final, unofficial results from the Butler County Board of Elections.

Explore>>>RESULTS: Latest Butler County election results

It was the only county office contested in Butler County and once again, Jones trounced Richter, his perennial opponent to continue for another four-year term as the sheriff.

“I expected to do well in my fourth race,” Jones said. “I campaign every day. I say what I think and I fight my own party. I go to local restaurants and listen to what people are saying.”

“People are angry and they’re angry with career politicians…. I’m different and that’s why I get a lot of votes and I get the cross-over votes,” Jones said.

The sheriff’s office will continue its fight against the heroin epidemic as well as continuing to fight crime and terrorism, Jones said. The department is going to do more training and there will be changes at the beginning of the new year, he added.

Jones has been the county sheriff for the past 11 years and served 12 years as the chief deputy. Prior to joining the sheriff’s office, he served 18 years with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and had attained the rank of major. He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Wilmington College and a master’s degree in corrections from Xavier University.

While he described the current coverage of deputies as “lean,” Jones said the three biggest challenges for sheriff’s office were heroin reduction, maintaining excellence in service and reducing crime.

“… Our response times are adequate, but not preferable. During peak hours our resources become stretched to the point of concern. I’ve been in conversation with County Commissioners to address this shortage of manpower, and as the economy in Butler County improves I’m hopeful that manpower levels at the Sheriff’s Office are addressed,” Jones said in an online voters guide compiled by the Journal-News.

He said the sheriff’s office operates a task force whose primary duties are investigating and prosecuting heroin dealers. While Butler County is not immune to the trend throughout the country, Jones said they are focused on reducing these incidents.

“In addition, our jail contracts with mental health providers to help educate offenders while incarcerated in a concerted effort to reduce recidivism. … As simple as it is, stopping addiction before it starts is the most effective way to end this epidemic — we must educate our children,” he said.

The sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer in the county and in 2017 will be compensated, by state law, $92,797 annually.