BY MELANIE BUCK –
Polk County Sheriff Mike Godfrey has announced that he will step down as Sheriff and Collector of Polk County effective August 19, 2016. He has accepted a position as the Deputy Director of the Arkansas Sheriffs Association and will begin his new position with the Arkansas Sheriffs Association August 22, 2016.
“When I decided not to seek a 4th term, I had every intention of staying until the end of my current term, which ends on December 31, 2016. When the opportunity to work for the Arkansas Sheriffs Association presented itself, I felt that it was an opportunity that I could not pass up,” said Godfrey.
Sheriff-Elect Scott Sawyer will be unable to begin his new duties until January 1, 2016, due to state law. Polk County Judge Brandon Ellison explained that the law says that when a county elected official leaves a seat, the succeeding person that finishes the term cannot succeed their self in the next term. Therefore, the Quorum Court will need to appoint a replacement to finish Godfrey’s term before Sawyer takes the seat in January.
Godfrey said that in his letter to County Clerk Terri Harrison, he made a recommendation for an interim Sheriff to finish his term. “I recommended former Sheriff Jack Peebles be named as interim Sheriff. Of course, I am only making a recommendation to the Polk County Quorum Court. It is their decision who to name as interim Sheriff. I am confident that the Quorum Court will make a good decision when appointing an interim Sheriff. I am also confident that I am leaving Polk County in good hands, as Scott Sawyer assumes the role of Sheriff and Collector on January 1, 2017.”
Ellison said the next meeting of the Polk County Quorum Court will be on August 23, 2016 at 6 p.m. at the Polk County Office Complex. A resolution will be placed on the agenda to be considered by the Court to first, declare a vacancy, and second, to consider the appointment of an interim Sheriff.
“Many people have asked if my wife and I are moving to Little Rock. We are not. Mena / Polk County is my home and I have no intentions of leaving the area. I want to say thank you to the citizens of Polk County for allowing me to serve as your Sheriff and Collector the past 6 years. It has truly been an honor. In closing, I would like to say this, please, please, always support your local law enforcement. Law enforcement is like your family. You may be mad at them, may disagree with them, you may not even like them, but when you need them, they come.”