LINCOLN–(KFOR Sept. 29)–A 21-year law enforcement veteran has announced his bid to be Lancaster County Sheriff.
Jay Pitts announced his candidacy via news release to KFOR News on Wednesday morning. He says his dedication to Lincoln and Lancaster County inspired him to serve his community as a law enforcement officer and is a major influence in his decision to run for Sheriff.
“My goal is to make the Sheriff’s Office an agency that other agencies want to model themselves after, from a team concept, enhancing the morale of our employees, utilizing modern training to increasing community communication and transparency within the sheriff’s department,” Pitts said. “As a lifelong resident of Lancaster County and the place I chose to raise my family, I humbly announce my candidacy for Sheriff of Lancaster County.”
Pitts, whose father John Pitts, Sr. was a longtime Lincoln Police officer and played on Nebraska’s national championship football teams in 1970 and 1971, started out in law enforcement as an officer with LPD in 1995 and after briefly working outside of law enforcement for a few years, he worked as a deputy and criminal investigator for the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office from 2005 to 2011. Since August 2012, Jay Pitts has worked as a law officer for the Lincoln Airport Authority.
As part of his platform for Sheriff, Jay Pitts says will include fairly enforcing current laws, instead of using the office to change laws or influence lawmakers. “As Sheriff, the enforcement of the law is paramount. I have no intentions of interjecting personal beliefs into creating new laws,” said Pitts. “That job is for the Legislative branch of our government. The office of Sheriff should enforce the laws as they currently stand, and enforce new laws as they are created.”
Officer Pitts plans to meet with local community leaders throughout his campaign to hear their concerns and ideas. “As a 21-year veteran I know a lot, but learning and understanding the needs of the people we protect and serve is ongoing. I am committed to making this department a great place to work and something our community can be proud of.”
In addition to his work as a law enforcement officer, Jay volunteers his time as a board member of Lighthouse, an organization that offers after school programs for Lincoln’s youth. Jay enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.
Current Sheriff Terry Wagner has led the department for 27 years. He’s the 2nd longest serving Sheriff in the over 150 year history of Lancaster County. Sheriff Wagner has not announced his to run for an 8th term.