Vernon Jones is back in the political arena again. Standing before a cheering crowd of supporters, Jones officially kicked off his campaign for DeKalb County Sheriff on the steps of the old Decatur courthouse.
"I'm the right man for the right job at the right time," Jones said at the Feb. 20 news conference, where he kissed babies, gave a shout-out to his 89-year-old mother and pledged to create a new Sheriff's office dedicated to getting tougher on crime.
"This Sheriff's office is not going to be your father's Oldsmobile. We're going to be more efficient. We're going to be more effective. And we're going to be tougher on crime," said Jones. "We're not here to replace the Police Departments. We are here to help them augment the war on crime."
Jones is entering a crowded race with six other candidates: Retired Sheriff's Deputy Dale Collins; DeKalb Police Sgt. Tony Hughes; LaSalle Smith, Sr., retired with 40 years in law enforcement; former Georgia Piedmont Technical College Assistant Police Chief Melody Maddox; DeKalb Sheriff Deputy Chief Jeffrey Mann; and Atlanta Police Sgt. Melvin Mitchell.
Jones said he believes that he is the most qualified candidate for Sheriff because he has more than 20 years in public service, including running one of Georgia's largest counties as DeKalb's former CEO.
"As an administrator, I know how to manage resources. I know how to run an operation. My background and my experience is second to none," said Jones, who served 8 years as DeKalb CEO and 8 years as a State Representative.
"At this time, DeKalb County needs some serious leadership --not just someone to say I've been a police officer. Not just someone to say I think I can do the job but someone who has the capability and the ability to get in, roll their sleeves up and run this operation the way it needs to be run. "
Jones has already put out several campaign signs throughout DeKalb and he has opened a campaign office at 3187 Glenwood Road in Decatur.