By Ian Berry Staff Writer
A longtime Hamilton County Sheriff's Department employee who patrolled Hamilton County waters for years is among those running for sheriff.
Hank DeArman, who is seeking the Democratic nomination in the May 2 primary, said he wants to improve communication both within the department and with the community.
"Over the last five years, I've noticed the respect and trust citizens have in law enforcement has begun to deteriorate," Mr. DeArman said.
Mr. DeArman is a 25-year veteran of the sheriff's office. He said he started the boat patrol, initially using his own boat, in 1986. He oversaw the newly created Marine Division from 1987 until 2000, when he joined the patrol division again. He retired in 2005.
He lives on a houseboat, which is used during Riverbend as a sort of "green room" for some of the musical acts, he said.
He said the sheriff's office should be meeting more regularly with other agencies, committees and churches, and employees shouldn't be relying on e-mail for important matters that can be communicated in person.
Mr. DeArman also said he would like to include citizens in a review of certain cases, and would like to focus on combating domestic violence. Mr. DeArman is running against Billy Long in the Democratic primary. Anthony Chatman was denied ballot access when he did not receive state-mandated certification but is attempting to get on the Democratic primary ballot in a dispute that will be heard today in Chancery Court.
In the Republican primary, Andy Derryberry is challenging Sheriff John Cupp.
Dave Alverson is running as an independent and will face the primary winners in the county's Aug. 3 general election.
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