Online: Coker announces bid for Sheriff

Alex Mann
Managing Editor

Kirk Coker has formally announced his candidacy for the position of Hutchinson County Sheriff, and in a brief interview with The Borger News Herald he cites his own qualifications for the job, as well as his motivation for seeking public office. Considering the heavy responsibility of the Sheriff's role, candidates require a balance of experience, intuition, and strong moral principals to effectively manage the department, and Coker was glad to share his resume with the voters of Hutchinson County.

“I graduated the sheriff's academy in Montgomery County, Texas, in Conroe, back in '85.” Coker begins, “Back then you didn't have to be through the academy before you became an officer, so I was working even during my time in the academy. I've been in law enforcement... the better part of 30 years. I currently hold a master peace officer's certificate, I hold certificates as a mental health deputy... in marine law enforcement; I was a lake patrol officer for several years, I was a canine handler, a motorcycle officer, chief of police... I've been blessed in my career to cover just about every area you can imagine in law enforcement.” While Coker's law enforcement experience is notable in itself, he also feels his principals and moral foundation would make him a pillar the county could rely on. “I'm now an ordained pastor with Celebration Family Church,” Coker says, “I was a youth group leader in our church for several years, and since I moved up here in 2006, I've remarried.. and I have two daughters; they we're 7 and 8 when we got together.” He smiles, “I'm very blessed in my home life, and I love what I do. I love being a police officer.”

Of course candidates seeking any public office usually have a list of goals and priorities if elected, and Coker is no exception. “I would really like to do a 'scared straight' program of some type for troubled kids. I love kids... they're our future, and if someone doesn't put the time and effort into them, our world, I'm sorry to say, will keep going downhill... You can turn some lives around if you put forth the effort.” He continues, citing other priorities if elected, “I've already met with the chiefs of police, except for Borger PD's, and he's been out of town... what I want to do is set up a group of all the leaders of these departments... and have a meeting once a month to compare who's having problems with what, and see if we can help each other. Right now that's not happening, and it hasn't been.” However Coker's top priority appears to be the scourge of substance abuse across the region, and not only does he cite a history of tackling drugs, he insists a Coker Sheriff's Department will work tirelessly to make local progress. “I hate dope,” he says, “and I took the money out of my own pocket to buy a canine, and used him with the City of Fritch, and I'm planning to do the same thing if I'm elected here. A canine is an invaluable tool, especially if he's available within a moment's notice. When I was chief of Fritch I took that dog out at 2:00 in the morning, 4:00 in the morning, 9:00 at night, if I got a call, the dog went.”

The reasons for Coker's firm stance against drugs, as well as his desire to seek office, are based on his own experiences. “I've had family members hooked on dope... I've counseled people with drug addictions. I try to help, some people want help, and some people take it... so far I believe there are four people I've helped that are now totally clean.” While the number may not seem extraordinary, anyone who's had a friend or family member suffering under the influence of drugs knows how difficult that influence is to break. For Coker, his four success stories are crowning achievements, and they're successes he hopes to replicate across the county if elected Sheriff. He concludes, “I've been burnt by people I've tried to help a thousand times... but those four have made it worthwhile. One would have made it worthwhile.”