Homer Village Police Chief and retired Cortland County Sheriff’s Captain Mark Helms has made it official he is running to become the county’s next Sheriff.
Helms, who has been in law enforcement in some capacity since 1987, says he looks to bring his years of experience to the office of sheriff if elected this November.
Helms is a lifelong county resident. He lives in the Town of Scott with his wife Patricia and has a grown daughter attending college. Helms has grown up around the department, his father was an investigator with the agency.
Helms has worked several areas of the department starting as a part time corrections officer before becoming a full time deputy in 1994. Helms rose through the ranks and retired as a captain in 2013 after which he became Homer’s Police chief.
In 2009, Helms graduated from the FBI National Academy 10 week training program.
Helms says if elected, he would focus on the county’s growing drug problem. He would like to see more sheriff’s patrols in the more rural parts of the county and would work with the county legislature to tackle the overcrowding problem in the current jail.
Helms is seeking the democratic nomination to run. He is the first candidate to officially declare. Republican Undersherriff Herb Barnhart has also said he is considering a run for the office as well.
The announcement comes after longtime sheriff Lee Price said he will not seek reelection in November.