Jeff Tompkins is seeking the position of sheriff for his native Montgomery County.
Tompkins said over the years, he has been approached by citizens encouraging him to run for sheriff, but, he said at the time, he didn’t feel called to serve in that capacity. Tompkins spent his formative years watching his father, the late Robert Tompkins, serve 17 years as Montgomery County’s sheriff. He accompanied his father on the campaign trail and watched him on the job, often riding along with him as he responded to calls in the county.
However, Tompkins also saw how many people his father helped while serving as sheriff.
“Helping people is something I have always wanted to do, and I feel this is the path the Lord has led me to,” Tompkins said.
In the last few years, after much prayer and reflection, Tompkins and his wife, Emily, decided he should run for Montgomery County Sheriff.
“Ever since the Lord has put this on my heart to run, I have been seeking ways to gain experience and training,” Tompkins said, currently serving as a reserve deputy in Carroll County under Sheriff Clint Walker.
Tompkins has received training in various aspects of law enforcement from John C. Sebeck, a retired Chicago police officer. The training covered intelligence gathering, interview tactics, officer safety, encounters where deadly force is necessary, stakeouts and surveillance, cultivation of confidential informants, succeeding and surviving as an undercover officer, legal limits, interrogation tactics, and search and seizure procedures.
Tompkins also completed an FBI-led training in developing and controlling confidential informants as well as a training on narcotics from the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.
Most recently, Tompkins attended a domestic violence training led by the Mississippi Attorney General’s office.
If elected, Tompkins said advanced training for deputies will be paramount, as training not only gives deputies the skills needed to protect and serve the citizens of Montgomery County, but it gives them the skills to protect themselves and their fellow deputies in the line of duty.
“I want a highly-visible deputy presence in Montgomery County,” Tompkins said. “I want all patrol vehicles marked, including my own, and seen even in the farthest corners of the county. I want every citizen to feel safe in knowing we are out working for them.”
Tompkins said he wants to take a proactive approach to law enforcement versus a reactive approach. He said crime prevention should be as important as conducting thorough investigations. Tompkins said by bringing back the deputy reserve program, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department will extend its reach countywide, enhance officer safety, and stretch limited county funds.
“By being a good steward of taxpayer money, seeking grant funds, fostering good working relationships with other law enforcement agencies in surrounding counties and cities, we can create a department staffed by well-trained and well-equipped deputies to work for the people of Montgomery County to ensure our community is safe,” Tompkins said.
And a safe community means taking an aggressive approach in fighting a growing drug epidemic and the crimes associated with it, as well as educating the county’s young people about the dangers that accompany even the smallest experimentation with narcotics.
As the father of three children, Jake, Aiden, and Allie, Tompkins believes building a healthy relationship between law enforcement and young people is the first step in ensuring this community’s future.
“I want our kids to know law enforcement can be nice and kind and can be trusted to help them if they have a need,” Tompkins said. “We do that by increasing our interaction with them in the schools and in their daily lives.”
Tompkins said if elected, he will be a hands-on sheriff with an open-door policy for any and every citizen in Montgomery County. That is something he learned from his father.
“I learned from my dad to be fair and to treat people with respect,” Tompkins said. “If you are going to get respect, you’ve got to treat people with respect.”
A 1991 graduate of Winona High School, Tompkins has a career in the timber industry. Fore more than 20 years, he has been a member of Poplar Springs Church, where he serves as deacon, assistant song leader, and assistant youth Sunday school teacher.
Tompkins said he hopes to speak with every citizen of Montgomery County before the election, and he asks that anyone with any questions, concerns, or suggestions in how he can better serve the county, to contact him at 662-230-0096 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I would be deeply honored to serve as your sheriff, and I am asking for your continued prayers and your vote in the Democratic Primary on August 6,” Tompkins said.