4 candidates running for Bay County Sheriff - WNEM TV 5

4 candidates running for Bay County Sheriff

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Four candidates are running for Bay County Sheriff.

Bay County Sheriff John Miller has held the spot for 20 years, but now he's retiring.

"I think being the person responsible for Bay County's safety is one of the highest honors I can imagine," said Undersheriff Troy Cunningham, candidate.

The other three candidates include Pinconning Police Sgt. Terry Spencer, former Bay County deputy Jason Holsapple and former Bay County deputy Robert Lee.

"I've worked for this agency for 25 years. I believe that would give me a great foundation to become sheriff, to be at the helm at all times. To not use it as a self-serving position, but a position that is there for the community," Lee said.

Cunningham said he's the only candidate that has been running a multi-million dollar budget.

"I've been running the jail here. I've worked every position in the department - command, supervisor, managed people, training programs and others at the sheriff's office," Cunningham said.

Some candidates said they would liked to change some of the ways the department is currently run.

"I've worked there. I've seen first hand how things are run and frankly, a lot of things there need to change. There needs to be some accountability brought back," Holsapple said.

As for Spencer, he said he wants to be visible in the community.

"That's something we haven't had in Bay County in a long time. I'm going to be present in the department and in the community and in schools," Spencer said.

On the issues, all the candidates addressed the heroin epidemic in Bay City as priority if they were elected sheriff.

"It's affected a lot of lives in our community. People are dying from this. The situation needs to be addressed. We would like to establish a full K-9 program with the Bay County Sheriff's Office, which we haven't had in quite a few years," Lee said.

Spencer said the heroin problem stems from prescription medication.

"Everyone knows it's a problem in our schools. We don't have officers in our schools talking about this and I want to change that," Spencer said.

Some other priorities also came to mind for the candidates.

"I think our department needs to rejoin the Delta College training for the officers. The better trained an officer is, the better service he is to the community," Holsapple said.

Cunningham said he thinks the department has come a long way, but there is a lot he wants to improve.

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