Sheriff Jim Canaday talks upcoming election

With the election only days away, Raleigh County Sheriff Jim Canaday opens up about why he’s still the most qualified man for the job.

He says he’s thankful for the experience and grateful for the opportunity and all the support.

“Especially from families and folks close to you to come out to pick up the slack whenever you’re out doing what you’re supposed to do,” Canaday says. “Plus, I’ve still got a full-time job that I do during the day. So, it’s definitely been an experience and one that, it’s gonna be memorable.”

The job isn’t so much for the sheriff to write tickets. He says it’s tackling big issues, including the war on drugs in West Virginia. Canaday has also spearheaded a 911 special needs registry, and so much more.

“We have this drug infusion that’s coming into the state. Not only do we have to work on a law enforcement level, which we have, we started an interdiction (K9 program) years ago that has been very successful,” said the sheriff. “But I think on a legislative level, a policy level, we need to work on tightening laws. That’s one of the first things that I plan on working on, whenever the new legislative session starts.”

According to Canaday, you need a candidate who knows the law enforcement process and has a thorough understanding of investigations. With years in every aspect of the business — the sheriff says he fits that bill.

When it comes to crime…

“A lot of the folks that are committing the gun violence are people that shouldn’t have guns anyway,” he said. “So I think what we need to do is make sure we’re keeping guns in the hands of folks that should be able to have them, and out of the hands of folks that shouldn’t.”

There’s been a cultural shift at the department. According to Canaday, they’re trying to be more involved and present in communities to perform the function of the sheriff.

“I found out that essentially what a policeman does is get people that may not want to talk to them, to tell them things that they might not want to tell them and I think that the way you do that is, is being relatable to people,” he said. “And I think honesty is important. But when you mess up, say, you know, we got that wrong, we’re gonna do better next time.”

Canaday says policing has changed over his career, especially within the last 10 years, and he has evolved with that.

“Dealing with a new generation of people, a new generation of problems, we’re hiring a new generation of police officers,” said the sheriff. “So it’s imperative to have a culture and a department culture.”

As for the election, Canaday asks: do you want to vote for the business guy who knows the economic impact that law enforcement has? Or do you want to vote for the law enforcement guy, with law enforcement experience? He says he’s taken both of those aspects one step further.

“I’ve got a degree in business and work experience in financial services, and I’ve got a master’s degree in my chosen profession right now, which is law enforcement. So I have a deep understanding of the inner workings of both,” the sheriff said. “Important thing to do is (make) an informed, intelligent decision. Your candidate — you want to know their experience and qualifications. And I’ve been very open about mine.”

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