First Responders: Sheriff James Moore

Published: Jun. 28, 2020 at 9:00 PM CDT
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In our latest First Responders we meet a longtime sheriff. Kemper County Sheriff James Moore has been involved in protecting the community for several years, but in this edition of First Responders, we learn more about the man in the uniform.

“First of all, I was told I wouldn’t get elected. Then I was told I would be a one term sheriff. I said, ‘why would you say that? They said, ‘because you’re doing your job,’” Moore says.

For the past 12 years Kemper County has called James Moore Sheriff.

“Years back, I worked part time with the Kemper County Sheriff’s Department. I’ve done part time with the Scooba Police Department, so I’ve been around a little bit,” Moore says.

James Moore took the oath of office in 2008, but his career of protecting and serving the public started long before that. It was 1978 when Moore joined the military.

“What I always wanted to do when I was a little kid was join the military and I did. I retired from that in 2006,”

His 29 year career in the military led right up until he decided to run for sheriff.

“In Iraq, a friend of mine from Kemper County called me and said, ‘I need you to stay alive over there because when you get back I got something you need to do.’ I didn’t think it would be this,” Moore says.

Moore has been elected three times and is the second longest serving sheriff of Kemper County.

“I’m going to work as hard as I can each and every day. If the majority of the people say they don’t want me to do my job, then they will elect someone else. As long as I’m sheriff I’m going to treat everybody fairly. I’m going to work hard and we’re going to deal with everything we have to deal with,”

There are high levels of difficulty that come with being sheriff.

“I’ve been in some situations in the military and I’ve had some extremely hard jobs in the military, but this is the hardest job I’ve ever had,” Moore explains. “What’s been so hard for me, and I still don’t get it, is when someone breaks the law and you bring them to justice, a family member of that person thinks the absolutely worst of you. Until the shoe is on the other foot, and someone has offended them and now they want you to get everybody.”

Through thick and thin, Sheriff Moore has always been there working. He believes in coming into the office every day, but not every day is the same. When there is tragedy, Sheriff Moore is right there for the residents of Kemper County.

“Whether it be racial issues, rich issues or poor issues, we are going to deal with the issues because that’s what I raised my hand and took the oath to do. That’s to protect and serve the citizens of this county regardless of who you are,” Moore says.

His family has always supported him and one day he hopes to hang up the badge to spend more time with them, as well as what he loves to do.

“People that know me know that I love to fish, I love to hunt and I love my family. I never smile a lot, but I’m a likeable person you just have to talk to me. I like to talk to people,” Moore says.

To stay up to date with our First Responders series tune in every Sunday night for Newscenter 11 at 10:00 p.m. and on Good Morning Meridian on Monday mornings.

Copyright 2020 WTOK. All rights reserved.

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