Oliver to seek re-election as sheriff

When he ran for sheriff in 2010, Shannon Oliver told voters he wanted to be ‘your sheriff, not the sheriff,’ of Franklin County.

Oliver recently announced he will seek a second term, pledging to continue the open lines of communication with Franklin County citizens.

“The only way to have a good law enforcement agency is to have communication and cooperation with the public,” Oliver said.

“I want the people of Franklin County to be confident if they make a complaint or concern to my department, it will be looked into. I can’t always promise the result will be what they expect or want, but I’ll do everything within the bounds of the law to resolve their concerns.”

Oliver, 38, is the son of Silas and Annette Oliver of Tharptown. He is married to the former Tange Howard. They have three children: Johnna, 14, Sterlyn, 10, and Brannon, 7, who attend Belgreen School.

The Olivers make their home in Belgreen. Tange is employed by the U.S. Postal Service as a substitute rural carrier associate.

Four years ago, Oliver pledged that if elected, he would emphasize drug enforcement in Franklin County and would develop a website to provide important information to residents along with transparency of what the FCSD was doing, and significant progress has been made on both counts.

Along with the Russellville Police Department, Oliver organized the Franklin County Drug Unit, a multi-agency task force designed to work and follow drug cases and complaints across Franklin County.

Oliver hopes to see the task force eventually expand to additional agencies in the county.

In regard to a website, citizens now have at their fingertips access to updates, press releases, inmate rosters, a sex offender registry and other updates at www.franklinsheriff.org.

“It’s a work in progress,” Oliver said.

“We’re pleased to have the site up and working, but our goal is to continue building and expanding it. I hope it will remain an important asset to the community.”

Oliver’s law enforcement career began in 1993 when he was hired by the FCSD as a jailer/dispatcher. In 1995, he was promoted to deputy sheriff. Oliver served as the Franklin County Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) officer from 2001-02. He was promoted to sergeant in 2002 and remained with the department until 2005 when he was hired by the Russellville Police Department. Oliver advanced to the rank of captain and remained with the RPD until his election as sheriff in 2010.

The responsibilities of an Alabama sheriff are varied, and include civil duties pursuant to the Alabama Constitution and administrative obligations within his or her department. But Oliver hasn’t forgotten the law enforcement role of the county’s chief law enforcement officer.

“I guess I consider myself a working sheriff,” Oliver said.

“I come out and work at night with our deputies. When they’re backed up on calls, I’ll come out and answer calls. The heart of law enforcement is protecting and serving the community and that’s part of my day-to-day responsibilities.

“I’m on the job daily keeping up with every aspect of the agency and what’s going on within it. I keep my certification and training current so I’m able to handle all aspects of the job.”

As he travels to work daily, Oliver is reminded of the obligation he has to each Franklin County citizen.

“When I was elected, people put their faith and trust in me and that means a lot to me,” he said.

“It’s something I take very seriously and that will never change. I want people to feel when I talk to them that I’m not only their sheriff but one of them. I have a family here in Franklin County and share the same concerns about our community they do.”

As our society changes, so must law enforcement. Officers face many different challenges today from when Oliver began 20 years ago.

“Times are constantly changing,” he said.

“The main thing is to continue building upon what we started. This is a changing society and technological advances change our world daily. Our job as law enforcement is to make sure we remain trained and prepared to deal with those changes.”

As Oliver prepares for the 2014 campaign, his message will remain consistent with what he told Franklin County voters four years ago.

“When I ran the first time, I told folks I want to be your sheriff, not just the sheriff, of Franklin County,” Oliver said.

“Franklin County is more than just a place. The heartbeat of Franklin County is our citizens and I’m working for each of you every day. My time is your time and that obligation is to every citizen.”

Oliver encourages citizens who want to contact him to call 256-332-8811.

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