Sheriff James Prince switches parties in seeking re-election

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Bowie County Sheriff James Prince announced today that he is seeking re-election. He will do so on the Republican Party ballot in March of 2016.

Of the party switch, Prince said, “I want to be sure that in this day of political differences, I stay true to all the people who have elected me and for many who have crossed their own party lines to support me as the sheriff of this great county.”

Prince said he is just as excited about running for office today as the day he announced for his first term and is just as committed to continue doing the job that he loves.

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“It has always been my practice and will continue to be to enforce the law equally, knowing that I work for all the people of this county no matter which party or group they represent,” Sheriff Prince said.

“I have prided myself in reaching out to all in this county that I serve and I want to be absolutely sure that party lines and demographics do not divide this county and stand in the way of our growth and our efforts to provide timely and efficient law enforcement to every segment of our society,” Sheriff Prince said.

Prince outlined his accomplishments over his tenure in office and said his basic two commitments remain the same – to constantly improve the service the office provides to its citizens and to make himself available to all who seek his counsel and service.

“I am available, as I have always been, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be reached on my cell phone at (903) 276-1836 or on Facebook,” Sheriff Prince said.

The Basic Awareness Safety Education program has become a critical part of Sheriff Prince’s administration. The program, developed and taught only in Bowie County, is a vast improvement over standard programs, and is aimed at the young people in the county and targets:

  • Drug education.
  • School violence.
  • Fire safety.
  • Internet safety.
  • Gun/outdoor safety; and
  • Teaches young people how to report an emergency or crime.

“We now teach this program in 10 public schools in Bowie County,” Prince said.

Another crowning achievement to which Prince points is the founding and organization of the Bowie County Sheriff’s K-9 Search and Rescue team. This team along with the Mounted Team consists of all volunteers trained to search for lost persons in the Four States area.

In July of 2015 a Bowie County mounted unit found a missing man in Hopkins County who had been missing for two weeks and just last week located a missing man in Morris County who was in his nineties.

“Searchers had looked for him for most of the day, but one of our K-9 teams located him within an hour of arriving on the scene,” Sheriff Prince said.

Prince credits his outstanding team of deputies and investigators for the inroads they have achieved in battling illegal drug trafficking in the county. Prince said his department is constantly upgrading its equipment and technology. This is paid for in large part through grants and money seized from drug dealers.

Prince said there has only been one unsolved homicide during the last 10 years in the county.

“We are waiting for lab evidence to be returned on that case and will continue to actively pursue that investigation.”

The administrative duties of the sheriff are a significant factor in the ultimate success of the sheriff’s office. Prince has over a decade of experience as sheriff of Bowie County and has been a supervisor the majority of his career.

“We currently house over 300 contract inmates in the Bowie County Correctional Center,” Sheriff Prince points out. “This helps us to lower the costs for keeping our own Bowie County inmates.”

To further demonstrate the scope of those administrative duties, Prince points out that there are some 757 beds in the Bowie County Annex and another 164 at the Bi-State Criminal Justice Building.

Prince’s law enforcement career began after he joined the U.S. Air Force at age 18 and spans 45 years.

“I was trained in law enforcement and was an investigator in the Air Force,” he said. “I spent 11 years on active duty, then served 10 years in the Army National Guard.”

He worked as an investigator for the Bowie County Sheriff’s Department before being elected.

“I could have worked other places in law enforcement and made more money,” Sheriff Prince says. “But Bowie County is my home. My parents were raised here and so were my daughters, who still live and work here. I have strong family ties here and plan to stay here.

“I really appreciate the trust the citizens of Bowie County have placed in me. I am truly honored to have served them and will forever be thankful for the support I have been given as Sheriff. God has really blessed me, with a great life,” Sheriff Prince concluded.

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