By Tammy Moore Teague
Resident Press is going to profile each of the three candidates that are running for Sebastian County Sheriff. Over the next three days you will read the biographical information submitted to us. We will be publishing them in alphabetical order of last name in an effort to be fair and unbias. Then, on Friday of this week we will run a special Q & A session. RP will ask pointed questions that will help you, the voter, make an informed decision at the polls.
Hobe Runion was born in California and lived in both Fort Smith and California while growing up and has lived in Sebastian County permanently since 1984.
Chief Runion has over 27 years of uninterrupted law enforcement service. He started his law enforcement career in 1990 as a reserve patrolman for the city of Barling. He was hired by the Lavaca Police Department as a patrolman in 1992 and served there until 2000, when he was hired by the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Department. During his time at the sheriff’s department he has served as a Patrol Deputy, Resource Officer, criminal investigator, Investigator SGT., Captain, SWAT team member and team leader, and as the Chief Deputy since 2014.
Runion previously served as a volunteer firefighter in Lavaca for 17 years and also as an elected Constable during the 1990’s. He continues to serve our nation as a Senior Chief Petty Officer with the United States Navy Reserve. He deployed to Fallujah Iraq in 2007 and ran a convoy security team that completed over 200 missions. He deployed again in 2013 to Afghanistan where he commanded four security teams.
He currently serves as a founding member of the Sebastian County Opioid Task Force, as a board member for the Hamilton House Child Safety Center, as a member of the Fort Smith Community Health Council Steering Committee, and as a District representative of the Butterfield Trail Boy Scout Council. Additionally he volunteers as a committee member for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes River Valley Run and group leader for Women Run Arkansas. He is a 2015 graduate of Leadership Fort Smith.
Chief Deputy Runion is married to his wife of 32years, Lorrie Ann (Glidewell) Runion. They are active members of Community Bible Church and have two adult children.
Chief Deputy Runion said, “I believe that I have been a large part of the success’s we have enjoyed at the Sheriff’s Department under Sheriff Hollenbeck and I intend to fully implement and continue the initiatives that we have already started and promote them as far as possible.”
Our anti opiod programs that we have set in place and are currently ongoing are paying dividends already. Nationwide Narcan has saved lives. We are in the process of training and establishing policy so that every member of our department that may have the need will be issued NARCAN. This is imperative for the safety of our citizens and our community. I believe that we must combat opiods with a combination of initiatives. This consists of education, collaboration between the legislature, law enforcement, and medical professionals, and utilizing alternative sentencing with support and treatment. All of this combined with drug court and veterans’ court will allow us to contain and combat this crisis.
The detention center is overcrowded and as a sheriff’s department we have to be creative and proactive in the manner in which we address it. In conjunction with the Prosecuting Attorney’s office, the state, and other counties we currently have several programs that we use to manage our daily population and have had successes with them. These include the soon to be opening crisis intervention center, classification of inmates, transferring inmates, and adjusting bonds.
Our dedicated people are our greatest strength and I want to explore their abilities to allow them to have a larger say in our day to day operations. They are out there every day and have some great ideas that we maybe able to implement to serve our communities needs more effectively. I want to expand and target our recruitment in an effort to ensure that our work force closely resembles that of the community and citizens we serve. I believe that by communicating and working with our surrounding agencies we can provide the level of law enforcement that Sebastian County deserves.
It is my firm belief that my greatest gift is being able to serve my fellow man. I have the experience, temperament, and compassion to serve as your Sheriff. My entire life has been about public service and I want to continue to serve my country and my community.
Click here to view the endorsement from Judge Parker