By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
Randy King is an Athens native, graduated from Clements High School in 1982, and for three years worked in sheet metal. In 1986 he began to work for the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office, and did so for 30 years. He started out as a reserve deputy, and also did patrol, undercover work, narcotics, and as a supervisor. He stepped away from his position as Chief Deputy Sheriff in 2016 in order to take care of his father after his mother had passed, let everyone know that he would be back, and has always been open about the fact that his desire was to run for sheriff when it was the right time. Randy feels that time has come. With 30 years on the force, he can truly say, “Experience Matters,” and is ready to show it.
Randy especially liked working in narcotics, and was in that department for 10 years. I asked him why narcotics were so important to him personally, and he said, “I don’t know anyone whose family hasn’t been affected by drugs in some way, and I wanted to help.” Randy’s time in narcotics was prior to the days of D.A.R.E., and he would go in the classroom, give drug presentations and displays, and always worked hand in hand with other departments to get drugs off the streets. “Why did you leave narcotics?” I asked, and he replied simply, “I was needed elsewhere,” and added, “Even when I was no longer working in that department, I stayed involved.” I could tell by talking to him that this whole issue of drugs is something about which he is passionate.
Making a difference in a community is always a challenge for anyone in law enforcement, and especially so when it come to the war on drugs. I asked Randy to tell me about a bust and or a conviction that had given him the satisfaction of having won a major battle, and he told me about one in which he described himself as “being a dog with a bone.” It took a while, and with the help of other law enforcement agencies, they were able to put a huge dent in a drug trafficking supply system that reached from here to Texas to Mexico. He still smiles when he thinks of it. The bust associated with this case yielded a literal ton of marijuana, several arrests in several states, $700K in cash, and $500K in seized property. In 2004, Randy also was able to solve the murder of a Hispanic man which had occurred here in Limestone County. It took a year; he was grateful for all the homicide investigative training he had been given, and it all paid off. He and his team never gave up; they solved the case and they got the conviction.
The 2022 race for Limestone County Sheriff has been an unusual one, as this is the first time that there are several Republican candidates. Randy chose to run as an independent, and people have been supportive of that choice as well as his candidacy. “People know me. They know my record from my time on the force,” he told me. Randy continued on by saying, “I have several good years of service to the community left in me, and I want to make a difference, like I always have.” He also said that the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office is still like family to him.
I asked Randy what kinds of things he wants to accomplish, and he said, “The number one thing is to settle the unrest and get trust back. I want to see a true open-door policy returned. I have always had a good relationship with the community, and they need to know that the sheriff’s department is theirs, not ours. I want to specifically get D.A.R.E. back in the schools, and there are some other programs out there for younger kids, and we need them.” He went on to tell me that youth ministers in particular had contacted him because of what is happening with sexting. Kids are being targeted and coerced, sometimes by other kids, sometimes by adults, to take revealing pictures of themselves and post them online. Once online, the kids are blackmailed, and some very young kids have committed suicide over it.
Randy went on to say that the sheriff needs to be chosen because of their qualities as a person as well as their experience. I asked him why I should vote for him for the position of Limestone County Sheriff, and he said, “Experience, work ethic, love for the county, and knowledge.” If this is what you are looking for, then vote for Randy King for Limestone County Sheriff.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner