Editor's note: The Brazil Times encourages all candidates to submit their campaign announcements with photos. The announcements will be published as submitted, "in their own words," up to one week before the May 2 primary and school board election.
The Brazil Times, Clay County Farm Bureau and Clay County chamber of Commerce are sponsoring a political forum at 6 p.m., April 26 at the Clay County Fairgrounds.
Clay Community Schools board and Democratic candidates for sheriff will be questioned in a public forum by residents.
All candidates present will be introduced and given up to two minutes to address the crowd.
I, Larry W. Pierce, have recently filed the necessary paperwork with the Clay County Election Office. This has been a very difficult decision for me to make, but I have finally decided it would be best for me to seek the office of Sheriff as an Independent.
I totally believe in the people of the county having a vote on who represents them for the next four years. Since I will be running as an Independent, I will not be on the May 2006 primary ballot; however, I will be placed on the November general election ballot.
I have 34 years of law enforcement experience. I believe experience, common sense, dedication and compassion along with good communication skills is a must for the Clay County Sheriff and the operation of the Clay County jail. I was elected Sheriff by the voters in 1990 and again in 1994. My terms ran from 1991 through 1998. I then served as chief deputy from 1999 through March of 2005. Prior to my tenure as Sheriff, I was a 20-year veteran of the Indiana State Police. I received by private investigator license in April 2005.
I began my career in law enforcement as a communications officer and graduated from the Indiana State Police Academy and later the Indiana Sheriff's Association Sheriff-Elect School. As sheriff, I also completed computer training from the Institute of Police Technology at the University of North Florida and Advanced Digital Imaging and Forensic Video Enhancement at IUPUI. I also graduated from the Elkins Institute of Radio & TV Electronics in Chicago, Ill.
During my career, I have also obtained additional formal law enforcement training in the following areas: domestic abuse, crisis intervention, marijuana eradication, drug investigation, organized crime, bomb disposal team and voice stress examination. All of the training in the world cannot replace actual law enforcement, administration and business experience. I assisted in writing several grant proposals and I have been on the cutting edge of new initiatives for law enforcement and will continue to do so.
During my administration, I worked with all of the fire departments and all government agencies to develop and implement the E911 system. It continues to be a lifesaving asset for our county. I updated to the latest computer technology, which is currently being used by the Clay County Sheriff's Department. I was able to work with all other county offices of different political affiliation.
The overwhelming support of the county, through donations, allowed us to obtain a highly trained police K-9 which was used for the drug enforcement and education of students and other civic organizations. With the explosion of illegal drug use and manufacture in the county, a police K-9 is necessary for ongoing drug investigations. As sheriff, I think it is important that this program is revived for the safety of our children and all Clay County citizens.
As sheriff, I welcomed an open door policy and if elected, will continue to be accessible for the citizens of Clay County 24 hours a day. I will work diligently to make Clay County a safer place for every citizen. If elected, I will use all legal means to apprehend arrest and convict those who involve themselves in illegal activities.
Public safety should be the motivating factor in every action of the sheriff. I will provide the kind of professional service that every resident of Clay County expects and deserves. The most challenging aspects of serving as sheriff are reducing crime, increasing patrols by making better use of all personnel scheduling, operating the new jail and budgeting for the department to save tax dollars. If elected, I will do what is necessary to make Clay County a safer place to live.
My wife and I operated Video Specialist for over 20 years. I now operate Video Specialist Productions as a part-time job. I am currently licensed as a private investigator for Pierce Investigations.
I was born and raised in Clay County. I am a graduate of Brazil High School. Debra and I have four children: Brian, Andrew, Brad and Ashley. We also have four grandchildren.
I GREATLY APPRECIATED YOUR PAST SUPPORT AND HOPEFULLY I HAVE EARNED YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE FUTURE.