Sheriffs field grows to three people
By By Adam Prestridge
The Escambia County sheriff’s race became a bit more crowded last week when Heath Jackson qualified to run as a Republican.
The 29-year-old native and resident of Brewton will face Lloyd Albritton in the June primary to see who will take on incumbent Democrat Grover Smith in November.
Jackson said he believes the county’s drug problems are “getting out of hand.”
It’s a combination of overdoses, theft by people who are trying to feed their drug habits and the amount of prescription medications that are flooding the hallways of our schools,” he said.
Educating children about the dangers of drugs is one of Jackson’s top priorities. He has experience working with youth as a volunteer during the county’s Youth Police Academy held each summer for aspiring law enforcement agents.
With such a growing drug problem, Jackson said the sheriff’s office should be one step ahead of the dealers and users.
Jackson currently serves as investigator to the Special Investigation Unit/Narcotics for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office in Pensacola, Fla. where he as served in that capacity for three years. Prior to that, he spent six years as a narcotics agent with the 21st Judicial Drug Task Force. During his time on the Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also recruited Jackson. He served as a Task Force Agent for more than four years, assisting federal law enforcement in the successful arrests and prosecutions of individuals who violated gun and explosive laws. He began his career in law enforcement as a patrol officer with the Brewton Police Department where he spent a year.
His experience in all aspects of law enforcement is what Jackson said he believes best qualifies him to be the next sheriff of Escambia County. “I have the experience to combat the drug problem and help lead the community to take back what’s been taken from them,” he said. “For the last three years, I have worked the Pensacola area and have the experience of broad range of crimes and the ability to solve them.”
After graduating from T.R. Miller High School in 1999, he began his pursuit of a lifelong dream in law enforcement. He attended the city of Montgomery’s Advanced Criminal Justice Academy and became a sworn peace officer in the state of Alabama in January 2000.
He has completed numerous hours of training with U. S. Customs Service, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U. S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation, U. S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of the Treasury Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and multijurisdictional training. Additionally, specialized training was completed at Faulkner St. College, Bay Minette and Chipola College, Marianna, Fla. The scope of training includes Federal Bureau of Investigation certification as a firearms instructor as well as an M26 advanced Taser and Taser X26 instructor.