FLEMING — It's official: Brian Schenck is running for Cayuga County sheriff.
Schenck made the announcement Thursday evening at the Springside Inn, where dozens of community members gathered to offer their support. The current sheriff's office detective lieutenant was also joined by Cayuga County Coroner Dr. Adam Duckett, who said he would seek re-election in the fall.
Last month, Schenck discussed his intent to fill the position should Cayuga County Sheriff David Gould retire, and on Monday, Gould confirmed he would not pursue another term. Gould was first elected sheriff in 2006, when he ousted former Sheriff Rob Outhouse. He won a second and third term in 2010 and 2014 without any opposition.
As of Thursday, Schenck was the only person to declare his candidacy for sheriff. He said he intends to seek the Republican endorsement and he has filed paperwork to launch a campaign, the Committee to Elect Brian Schenck Sheriff.
A lifelong resident of Cayuga County, Schenck began his career at the sheriff's office in 1997 and was promoted to detective lieutenant in 2015. He is 46 years old.
If elected, Schenck said he would focus on securing the safety, respect and trust of the community. He listed his primary goals: combating the drug epidemic, exploring new technology, supporting staff at the local jail, enhancing efforts to stop drunk and impaired driving and partnering with other agencies to prevent and prosecute domestic violence.
"Working together as a community, we can secure a safe environment for us all to live in," he said. "Together, we can continue building a sheriff's office that everyone can be proud of."
Following Schenck's announcement, Duckett echoed the importance of fighting the opiate crisis in the county. As coroner, he said he has seen the epidemic firsthand, and the number of drug-related deaths continues to rise.
"The thing that has been most challenging for me and something that truly changed my life is seeing what the heroin epidemic and opiate epidemic has actually done to our community," he said. "It made me realize that as a coroner and as a physician, I couldn't just sit there and do my job as a coroner — I had to get involved in the community and make people aware of what was going on and what was plaguing our community."
Duckett first ran for county coroner in 2014 and recently joined the medical staff at the sheriff's office. He is 37 years old.
Staff writer Megan Blarr can be reached at (315) 282-2282 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @CitizenBlarr.
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