In announcing his candidacy for Oktibbeha County Sheriff, Jessie “Bone” Oden made the following statement:
“I am a lifelong resident of Oktibbeha County and I feel it’s time for the safety of the citizens of Oktibbeha County to be made the first priority of the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department. I will fight to protect the families, the businesses, the property and the rights of citizens and taxpayers of Oktibbeha County. I am married to Rebecca “Becky” Oden. We are the parents of six daughters and have been blessed with 10 grandchildren.
“I have over 22 years of experience as a deputy sheriff in Oktibbeha County which includes, but is not limited to the following: completion of the state Law Enforcement Training Academy, participated in federal law enforcement training schools, Street Survival training at Memphis State University, successful completion of two S.W.A.T. training schools at the Columbus Air Force Base, training in hostage negotiations, arson investigations, criminal investigations, evidence gathering, and other aspects of law enforcement. I have worked and solved many cases during my years of service at the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department from the smallest misdemeanor to the highest felony including murder, rape, arson and burglary.
“The lack of experience is not the problem in the race for the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department, priorities are the problem. For too long in Oktibbeha County the citizens and taxpayers have not been the priority for the current sheriff. One of the main priorities of the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department must be to bring closure to unsolved murders, there are still dangerous criminals roaming free among the citizens of Oktibbeha County, ongoing drug infestation problems and other serious crimes that the current administration has failed to bring closure to.
“Until closure to these crimes and administrative issues are realized and an institution of an open door policy where all citizens feel comfortable with the professionalism and quality of service that they are receiving is implemented, we will continue to have concerns about citizen safety and hamper the economic growth of Oktibbeha County.
“If elected, I will work hard to rid the county of the drug problems that are destroying our youth and society by eliminating the sources, protectors and supporters of this criminal activity. I understand that the sheriff’s office must do a better job protecting its citizens from an environment that stifles growth and prosperity through a climate of fear and uncertainty about the safety of our communities.
“I believe that support must be solicited from the entire community base for the office of the sheriff’s department to be successful. This includes working with the local churches, community and civic organizations, schools, and state and federal entities to make Oktibbeha County a leader in law enforcement. Many parents from across the United States enroll their children at Mississippi State University to receive a secondary education. We cannot and should not allow those parents to be concerned for the safety and well being of their children due to the sheriff’s department lack of diligence and failure to perform its sworn duty to solve major crimes in our county.
“If elected, I pledge to operate the sheriff’s office with the utmost honor and integrity where no one will be above the law. Especially those who are hired to protect and serve the citizens and are duty bound to uphold the law. If anyone has a problem, the sheriff’s office will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the public. All county vehicles and equipment will be used for the service of the citizens and not for personal use.
“I would like to visit with each of you individually. Please consider this my personal request for your vote on August 2, 2011. It’s time for a change,” said Oden.