Battle for Benton County Sheriff’s Seat

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Two men battle to be the next Benton County sheriff as current Sheriff Keith Ferguson retires. Mike Jones, a captain in the sheriff’s office, said he wants his boss’ job.

"It was kind of a no-brainer. I knew that I could do the job," Mike Jones said.

Kelley Cradduck, a former Rogers police officer with decades of law enforcement experience, is running for the third time.

"I still think that we have some issues that we were facing two, three years ago that have not been addressed," Cradduck said.

Both said campaigning is tough but not even Mother’s Day stopped them talking with 5NEWS.

“We are looking forward to this thing winding down and going forward,” said Jones who has about 40 years of law enforcement experience.

Cradduck, who has worked as a resource officer and SWAT team member, among other duties, said, “next step, you are running like a chicken with your head cut off for the next couple of days and weeks.”

Both candidates said they have goals they'd implement as the next Benton County sheriff.

"To focus on employee retention, we've lost 98 employees out of that office in the last three years. You have a constant turnover rate and it's causing some problems," Cradduck said.

Jones said, "Many good people expect quality law enforcement and that's what I intend, to lead the most professional, best trained organization that you can ever have.”

Jones and Cradduck said drugs and gangs are a problem and both candidates have experience dealing with them. Jones said existing law enforcement and school programs in place are successful.

"We have five deputies exclusively for drug and addiction and works against gang activity and we keep educating our children," Jones said.

Cradduck said change is needed to create a better system of information sharing among police agencies.

"Right now we don't share that information and when the gang members and the drug dealers are more organized then we are or collectively then we are in trouble," said Cradduck.

Expect to see both candidates campaigning until Primary Election day May 22.