HENRIETTA (KFDX./KJTL) — Clay County has a new sheriff in town.
Long time sheriff Kenny Lemons lost the primary to Jeff Lyde in March. Since they were the only two on the ballot, that made Lyde the winner.
On November 23, Lemons sent his letter of retirement to the county commissioners. And on November 30, Lyde was sworn in to finish out Lemons’ term.
After Lyde was sworn in, he swore in some additions to his staff so they can get to work as soon as possible.
“We’re ready to get to work,” Lyde said. “We started out with a full staff. We were able to fill all the vacancies prior to actually taking office and we’re ready to go.”
After Lyde was sworn in, he also swore in some additions to the sheriff’s office. Clay County judge Mike Campbell said there have not been many sheriffs in Clay County which puts Lyde in extraordinary company. Campbell also said he is glad to see the increasing number of positions.
“We’ve come a long way. In the ’60s, there were only 2. Today we’ve got a staff of 15 or 20 so it’s very important. We look forward to working with Sheriff Lyde and seeing great success and most importantly safety for the people of Clay County.”
With Lemons holding the sheriff position since 2009, Lyde said he hopes to build his own legacy as sheriff.
“Sheriff Lemons was unique and of himself and he will be remembered for the sheriff he is. And I hope that someday, I’ll be able to carve out a niche for myself as he has,” Lyde said.
“Sheriff Lemons has done a great job for Clay County, he is dedicated to Clay County,” Campbell said. And he has made a great effort to make sure that this transition’s been very smooth. I think above and beyond what many people would do.”
Lyde said he is also dedicated to Clay County because he and his wife have made sacrifices to be where they are.
“We have a business that we’re actually cutting back on for the purpose of doing this so it’s all about community service for she and I,” Lyde said.
Sacrifice, community service and a new reign comes to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
Lyde also said he is working to have three deputies on patrol 24/7.
Campbell said Lemons will be working for the Texas Association of Counties.