In a statement released Friday morning, July 28, Van Buren County Sheriff Scott Bradley announced he would not be seeking an additional term once his current elected term runs out, effectively ending his time in office as Van Buren County Sheriff.

Bradley, currently in his eighth term as sheriff, an elected position, does not intend to run for election again, he said. He is prepared to finish his current term, which runs out Jan. 2019 “unless an opportunity presents itself that I can’t refuse,” per his statement.

Bradley said he made the announcement now as people thinking of running for the office “need to get started.”

It is expected several in the county will file to run for sheriff.

Bradley pointed with some pride to what his office was able to accomplish during his 15 year term. When he first started, he said, the patrol cars were “held together with bailing wire and duct tape,” including keeping older, scrapped, cars on hand for spare parts needs. Since then, of course, the department’s patrol vehicle situation has improved, with officers in reliable and well-maintained late-model vehicles. At a recent Quorum Court meeting the county approved the sheriff’s department using a lease-purchase agreement in order to maintain the department with later-model vehicles.

Other points Bradley made was that the jail is now more secure than when he first started office.

He also began the “Shop with a Cop” program in the county.

“I hope Shop with a Cop continues,” Bradley said.

Noteworthy events during his term were the tornadoes which hit the county, and his department working with other agencies in coming to terms with tornado damage and community needs. Additionally was the investigation and capture after a murder in Alread in 2004. Also, of course, was the ongoing drug eradication efforts in the county, one of the peak events there being the federally-backed Operation ICE Storm arrests and seizures.

“No way I’d of been this successful without my family and my team here [at the sheriff’s office,],” Bradley said, adding, “This is why Van Buren County is one of the best counties to be at in the state.”

His statement, released Friday, follows: “I would like to take this opportunity to let everyone know that I will not be seeking a ninth term as the Van Buren County Sheriff. My intentions are to finish my term, unless an opportunity presents itself that I can’t refuse.

Being your Van Buren County Sheriff has been the most rewarding job I have ever had and I would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me for the past 15 years.

During those years we have worked very hard to give the citizens of Van Buren County a sheriff’s department they could be proud of. My intentions are to work closely with the incoming administration so that the Van Buren County sheriff’s department continues to move forward. Once again I would like to say thank you to my family, staff and everyone that has supported me for the past 15 years it has been an honor to serve as your Sheriff! God bless you!”