Tommy Earnhart, a veteran law enforcement officer, has announced his candidacy for Faulkner County Sheriff.

Earnhart, a Democrat, is a lifelong resident of Faulkner County and has worked for the Greenbrier Police Department and the Arkansas Highway Police.

Earnhart joined the Arkansas Highway Police in 1989, earning the rank of District Sergeant and supervising 17 officers from 14 counties. During his time there, he worked as a patrol officer, a drug interdiction officer, a motor carrier safety officer, a weight enforcement officer and a hazardous materials regulations officer.

Earnhart said he wants to give the Sheriff’s office back to the citizens of Faulkner County.

"We need to remember what the department is there for," Earnhart said. "It’s not just about putting people in jail. It’s about serving people and protecting people. I want everyone to know that you will get a day’s work for a day’s pay with me."

Earnhart grew up and attended school in Greenbrier before serving in the military. He returned to work for the Greenbrier Police Department and the Arkansas transportation. He also attended the University of Central Arkansas.

During his time with the highway police, he worked in undercover operations dealing with criminal activities, drugs and prostitution.

"I think it’s important for the officers and deputies working in the office to be united," Earnhart said. "I want them to feel welcome, and I want to work with elected officials."

Earnhart pointed to the need for pay raises for deputies and the problems in the day-to-day of the office as a call to run for the office.

"If I thought everything was going well, there would be no need to run," he said. "There are problems that need to be addressed, and there are other people that feel that way."