Stranded students rescued by Brown County cooperation 4-H Teen Ambassador Dunning attends SHOT Show Veterans Service Commission invites veterans to seek help with benefits Unemployment rate rises in Brown County Pick a Lollipop, help a dog A season to remember G-Men hit the field for first baseball scrimmage Eastern’s Rigdon, Purdy earn AP SE District Div. III honors New blocking, kicking rules address risk minimization in high school football Judy A Schneider James M Darnell Lawanda R Truesdell Paul E Grisham Arrelous R Rowland Dennis E Stivers David M Daniels Fayetteville man is charged with child porn April 1st Grand Opening for Jacob’s Ladder Resale Boutique in Georgetown Talent Show auditions at Gaslight Theatre Nine indicted by county grand jury Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall visit coming next May to BC Fairgrounds In it to win it! Bronco wrestlers end season on successful note Eastern’s Hopkins finishes 5th in long jump at OATCCC State Indoor Track and Field Meet SBAAC awards academic all-stars, winning teams Marvin D Atkin Beverly S Flatt Jessie M Sanders Leroy Deck Sr Jody A Towler Sherman E Young Kenneth C Burton Varnau’s face second defamation suit Attorney General to visit Georgetown schools Clermont County GOP hosts Wenstrup, DeWine at dinner Fatal car crash in Adams County BC Chamber welcomes new Cricket Wireless store to Mt. Orab Aberdeen Council approves 2017 budget Royce K Zimmerman Lady Warriors advance to Elite 8 SBAAC awards boys basketball all-stars SBAAC girls basketball all-stars take home awards SHAC Winter Sports Awards Banquet set for March 12 Altman claims 170-pound district title Sirkka L Buller Arthur C Schneider Lowell G Neal Virginia M Schirmer Connie S Darling Harold L Purdin Terry E Frye Lucille Schumacher Lady Warriors roll to district finals Broncos take care of business to claim sectional crown G-Men upset MVCA to earn berth sectional finals WBHS JROTC Rifle Team competes at Camp Perry Lady Rockets finish 12-12 Season reaches end for Rockets Eugene D Ring Two indicted on major drug charges Two charged with home invasion Cincinnati airport expanding services, lowering prices in effort to compete Two sentenced in common pleas court Georgetown man hurt in car crash Robert G Miller Linda M Howland Robert E McKinney Mildred J Hodges Farrel L Amiott Patricia Brown Rick L Dye Mary E Nagel Betty Ratliff Broncos claim SBAAC wrestling title Broncos pull ahead for win over G-Men in SBAAC Tourney Ripley boys wrap up regular season with win at Lynchburg Eastern girls are sectional champs Anderson pleads not guilty to battery charge Some county offices to change locations Fayetteville prepares for Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall HealthSource hosts Chamber of Commerce meeting Five sentenced in Brown County Common Pleas Court June Howser Marguerite A Fender Timothy D Harris Jay R Purdy Robin S Godwin Marc A Wachter Chester W Eyre Warriors blast past the G-Men, 61-40 Rockets performing well heading into post-season tournament play Lady Warriors bring home the Gold with perfect 13-0 finish in SHAC Western Brown Junior High wrestling team wraps up successful season Rockets fall victim to ‘Pack’ attack Broncos suffer heartbreaking loss to Mentor Lake Catholic in state quarterfinals Adult Education Center coming to county ‘Senior Playground’ moving forward at Georgetown park Brown County 4-H kicks off another year Eastern Middle School celebrates “Kindness Week” Billie L Shoemaker

Benjamin running for sheriff

David Benjamin

The competition to become the next Brown County sheriff has become a two-horse race.

Ripley native and current Winchester Police Chief David Benjamin said he plans to run for the Republican nomination for Brown County sheriff in the March 2016 primary, joining current Brown County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Carl Smith in the race for the position.

“Strangely enough, it was never in my consideration,” Benjamin said in a phone interview with The News Democrat. “Probably about two years ago, my sister (Tessa Ellis) brought it up. I told her I wasn’t interested but she said, ‘Just think about it.’”

After some prayers and some time thinking about it, Benjamin decided to officially start his campaign for sheriff.

Benjamin has had a long career in law enforcement. At the same time as his graduation from Ripley High School in 1993, Benjamin completed his police course at Southern Hills Joint Vocational School.

After a few years in college and working at Rocky Fork State Park, Benjamin joined the Ripley Police Department full time, rising to the rank of lieutenant. He also served as a K-9 handler for five years.

Following a seven-year stay in Ripley, Benjamin left the police department to work in the private sector, working for Frito Lay, but his time there didn’t last long.

“I felt like I was lost,” Benjamin said. “I felt like I needed to get back in law enforcement.”

In December 2008, Benjamin joined the Winchester Police Department, and in October 2012, he took over for Greg Caudill and became the new police chief of the department.

Benjamin said his faith plays a big role in both his personal and professional life.

He prays with the people he arrests, he said, while they’re in the back of the police car on their way to the jail. Benjamin said only one person has rejected an offer to pray since he started this tradition two years ago.

“People that I’ve even sent to prison, they look at you with respect because you’re trying to help them turn their life around,” Benjamin said.

The sheriff candidate believes that faith and education can play a big role in solving some of the region’s problems, including ending the drug epidemic that’s only growing with every year.

“One thing I’ve already implemented and tried to do, which I started in Adams County, is drug awareness programs,” Benjamin said. “We’ve done it mostly in churches… We’ve got to educate the youth, we’ve got to educate the parents to know what to look for.”

Benjamin knows that money is tight for law enforcement these days. As police chief, he said he’s had to work with a tight budget. Through traffic stops and drug enforcement, he’s been able to raise enough money to operate his department on a small budget.

He hopes ramping up the traffic stops and being tougher on drugs could help raise more money to build a new jail in Brown County, for example.

He’s also pledged to follow up on some unsolved homicides that the BCSO has not given updates on, and vowed to be transparent with families who are hoping for any shred of information.

Benjamin has some ideas on how to give inmates in the Brown County Adult Detention Center a better chance to have a good life after they’re released from jail.

“Throughout the jail, we don’t have a lot of services available right now,” Benjamin said. “We used to have GED classes. Some of the people who don’t go to jail don’t have an education so they can’t get a job. I’d like to see the GED classes back in there and any other classes such as job training.

The veteran officer also said that, as a sheriff, it’s important to have a strong presence in the community but to also be approachable.

“Every year, we do an event called the Night Out. It allows the kids to get closer to the police officers, firefighters and EMTs, and lets them see what our job is and the equipment we use. It’s been a huge success.”

There’s still plenty of time for other potential candidates to enter the field. Candidates for sheriff must acquire at least 50-150 signatures on a petition and file it by Dec. 16 to be eligible for the March 2016 primary, according to the Brown County Board of Elections.

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