Thursday, the two candidates to replace Furr generally applauded the arrests.
Democrat sheriff candidate and RCSO Maj. James “Clem” Clemmons was in Courtroom A of the old courtroom overseeing the arraignment process for those arrested Thursday morning.
He named the abuse of prescription drugs as a top law enforcement concern in his campaign platform.
“In his statement to the county commissioners one year ago, Sheriff Furr said he would be the sheriff until he leaves, and that he would remain committed to fighting crime and protecting the citizens of Richmond County,” Clemmons said. “This operation is evidence that he has that same commitment. He came in fighting crime, and he’s going out fighting crime.”
Clemmons’ opponent in the election, Republican Doug Brown, commended the work of the sheriff’s office, but questioned the timing of the move.
He said he was unaware of who was being arrested or for what other than information from the media.
“That’s great! I’m glad they’ve done this - as long as it’s not the same old people and the same old little man,” Brown said Thursday. “Even if it is the little man, at least they can get them off the streets, and maybe they can get to the big men out of this because out of 75 one of them is going to talk.”
Brown said he felt the timing of the arrests was suspiciously close to the election, though.
“Ever since I’ve been in Richmond County, every time there’s an election something like this happens,” Brown said. “I want them to do it all the time. Do it every week if you have to. Just get them off the streets.”
Brown has also cited drugs as one of his top law enforcement concerns for the county.
Staff Writer Philip D. Brown can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 32, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.