Tirey won’t seek sixth term, ends career in law enforcement
by Elane Jones
Jan 24, 2014 | 3244 views | 0 0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sheriff John Mark Tirey
Sheriff John Mark Tirey
Walker County Sheriff John Mark Tirey announced Thursday that he will not be seeking re-election. Tirey has served as sheriff since 1995.

“I have been experiencing quite a few health problems of late, and I don’t feel it is fair to my family, the citizens of this county and the department to not be able to give the job all I’ve got,” Tirey said. “So I’ve decided to not run for office again and retire from law enforcement altogether.”

Tirey has been in law enforcement in Walker County for more than 34 years. He was elected to five terms as sheriff, becoming the youngest person to hold the office in the county’s history and the longest consecutively serving sheriff on record.

“The job of sheriff can be very frustrating at times, but my time as sheriff has been very rewarding,” Tirey said. “I enjoy dealing and working with people, and I have made lots and lots of friends over the years.”

Tirey said he has seen a lot of changes during his career.

“A lot of the crimes law enforcement deals with these days involve electronics, and we’ve seen a big swing in electronic crimes in our county,” Tirey said. “So you have to be very diligent in order to stay on top of that, and I have been very fortunate to have investigators working in my office who have gone to some really unique schools and have a good grasp and understanding about how to deal with these types of crimes.”

Tirey said he believes some restructuring needs to be done at the sheriff’s office so that certain aspects of the job would become more specialized.

“There are several things that need to be done, but I really think our narcotics division needs to be restructured first because we are still making quite a number of cases,” Tirey said. “And that is one project that is going to take a lot work in order for it to be done and done right.”

Tirey said that during his career as sheriff, he has gotten to work with many men and women at the sheriff’s office who are dedicated to the job of protecting the citizens of Walker County.

“Not everybody is perfect, including me, but overall we have always had a good group of folks working at the sheriff’s office,” Tirey said. “I have also enjoyed working with all my fellow elected officials over the years and the really good relations I have with all the folks at the courthouse.”

Tirey said if there was one thing he has learned in his nearly 35 years in law enforcement, it would be that it pays to try and get along with others.

“Not only does it help you get your job done better, but everybody else generally ends up benefitting from it as well,” Tirey said.

When asked if he had any regrets over his decision to not seek re-election, Tirey said he had mixed feelings.

“I have done this for a long time and with all that’s going on with my health right now, I just think it’s time for me to retire,” Tirey said. “It’s time to let someone with a fresh look get in there and do what needs to be done.”

Tirey said he will tell the new sheriff that he will gladly help in any way he can.

“As far as what I will do in retirement, hopefully when I get some of the health issues straightened out, I can do a little hunting and fishing,” Tirey said. “And just enjoy spending time with my family.”