Logan County Sheriff Boyd Hicks announced last week that he will not seek a third tem in office in 2018.
Hicks, in a message posted on his Facebook page and in an interview, said his health was behind his decision to leave office after two terms.
“Not many of you know that I suffered a heart attack since beginning this journey which resulted in stints being put in on two different occasions. With the exception of a few days in the hospital, I have not slowed down or publicized it.” he said.
“For the past three years I have been routinely warned by my cardiologist (and my wife) to slow down and do whatever I need to do to reduce stress,” he said.
Hicks also said the health of his wife was a factor in his decision.
“And now, added to my health issues, my wife of 41 years has been diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disorder,” he said. “She has supported my work in law enforcement for many years, she has sacrificed so much for so long and now I feel as though I need to support her. I hope you understand.”
Last week’s message was an about face for Hicks, who announced earlier this year that he would run for a third term but that it would be his last.
Hicks was elected sheriff in 2014 and re-elected in 2016 without opposition. On the heels of Hicks’ announcement, Jason Massey, a child welfare attorney for the Department of Human Services and a part-time deputy sheriff for Logan County, announced he will run for sheriff next year. Hicks has endorsed Massey.
“I have worked at the Logan County Sheriff’s Office for the past 10 years where I started as a patrol deputy working the midnight shift and advanced to criminal investigator supervisor,” Massey said in making his announcement. “I also served as the jail administrator and was involved in the designing of the new jail alongside Sheriff Hicks. Prior to moving to Logan County with my family, I worked for the Saline County Sheriff’s Office as the Administrative Captain and served as the leader of the Jail Transition Committee when the Sheriff’s Office went from a 50-bed to a 183-bed jail.”
Whoever is elected next year will serve a four-year term of office. Present terms of office for county elected officials are two-years.
“When I got elected, I wanted to turn the sheriff’s office around and get a new jail,” Hicks said. “We got those things done.”
Bids will be opened Thursday on building a new, 100-bed jail in Paris. Voters approve a one-cent sales tax increase last year to build, maintain and operate the facility. Hicks was vocal about getting the jail built. It will replace the present Logan County Detention Center in Paris, which was built in the 1980s and has been repeatedly cited for violations of jail standards.
Hicks also said he believes he has kept promises made when he first campaigned for the office.
“We have recovered many stolen items and sent those responsible for stealing those items to prison in many cases,” he said. “We have increased the pressure on drug dealers, thieves and child molesters and will continue to seek to bring them to justice at every opportunity. I believe I have kept the promises I made to the Citizens of Logan County and have sought to keep you updated, informed and alerted to potential risks to your safety and security. I have made myself available to the public and always returned calls, text messages and Facebook messages in a timely manner. I will continue to do so.”