CHARLESTON, MO (KFVS) - Mississippi County residents went to the polls Tuesday night and elected Britton Ferrell for their new sheriff.
Ferrell currently works with the Mississippi County Sheriff's Office already but will be putting on a new hat by the end of the week as the new sheriff.
Ferrell said he has a great team at his disposal already and appreciates the support from the community as he won by a wide margin of the votes. He collected a total of 1,399 votes. Former Mississippi County Sheriff Keith Moore came in second at 471 votes and Brent Douglas collected 247 in the January special election.
"I had a lot of good people behind me, supporting me and telling me to do good thing," Ferrell said. "I have a lot of good people here that work in this office and we work together."
Ferrell said his first goal they have is to get rid of the stigma surrounding the sheriff's office.
"Whether it's a perception from the public that we aren't able to do our jobs correctly, and sometimes that's miscommunication, or other agencies that don't have a working relationship with us, we need to correct those things," Ferrell explained.
He said he is also looking to re-brand the sheriff’s office in changing the uniforms and the badges they wear. He also added that they plan on making some physical enhancements to the property as well.
"Right now we wear brown uniforms. I'm looking to change those," Ferrell stated. "We have a certain badge that we wear and I'm looking to change that. There's some landscaping that we can do out here and you have come in here while we are doing some spring cleaning too. We're going to cleanup the inside and cleanup this office first and get everybody on the same page where if you do come through our doors, we look professional and we act professional. Or if we have to go out and help the public or work with another agency, we look and act professional."
He said the last two years have been a challenge for everyone but states the deputies and staff here have done a great job carrying on in serving and protecting the residents in Mississippi County.
“Deputies that were here during that time have done an amazing job of keeping everything together so we can adequately serve the public,” Ferrell said. “Do we have to do things better? Yes. And that is what we are going to try to accomplish for the future.”
The current interim sheriff for Mississippi County is Brandon Caid. He stepped in to serve as sheriff after the former Mississippi County Sheriff Cory Hutcheson was arrested and charged on felony charges. He later pleaded guilty on fraud and ID theft.
For Caid, his reign of sheriff will be taken over by Ferrell when he is sworn in on February 2 at 12 p.m.
Ferrell said Caid has worn several hats there at the sheriff's office and has done an amazing job filling in. He plans on following on Caid's success.
"Brandon is well respected and well liked. Not only in the streets but in law enforcement as well," Ferrell said. "So it's just a continuation of that. He's helped lay the groundwork to build off of. So now, everyone here at the sheriff's office needs to continue that."
This was a special election for the Mississippi County Sheriff's race. The next race will be in a little less than two years away in 2020. He said it's important they improve in various places to make everything more efficient, as well as, the image of the sheriff's office more positive.
“All those little things, they will be added and bundled together. It’s not a one-time thing. It’s got to be a sustained excellence for this office. That’s going to be my motto for the next couple of years,” Ferrell stated. “We have to, not just two weeks from now, not just two months from now, we have to lay the groundwork for years coming. Regardless if I get elected next time. If we can lay the groundwork for the next two years and make this happen, then we can sustain the excellence for years to come.”