Johnny Lee Jackson is running for Sheriff of Hendry County as a Democrat. A lifelong resident of Clewiston, he retired after 29 years in law enforcement - three with the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office and 26 with Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. He retired from PBCSO June 15, 2015.
He has served on road patrol, narcotics and community policing divisions and was the Police Athletics League Coordinator at PBCSO.
While with HCSO he said he mostly patrolled on the east side of the county, but also gained some experience in the LaBelle area.
A 1980 graduate of Clewiston High School, he studied physical education at Itawamba Junior College in Mississippi, then Delta State University when he spent a summer back home. That’s when his uncle, James Robinson Jr., influenced him to accept the opportunity to go to the police academy. It set him on the way to what became the focus of his professional life, a career in law enforcement.
Mr. Jackson has been married for 28 years to his wife, Pamela, also a lifetime Clewiston resident. They have three children: one deceased, a daughter at Valencia Junior College and a son who just graduated from Clewiston High School and plans to attend college
He’s also got a 19-month-old grandson he’s not afraid to babysit.
He said he’s experienced all areas of law enforcement and during his years in Palm Beach County was particularly involved in community policing and in “cleaning up” theft and burglary.
He is experienced in radar and DUI enforcement and has vast experience in dealing one-on-one with kids.
Which brings us to his involvement with youth.
During his PAL years at Palm Beach SO, he worked with kids 8-16 years of age. He was also responsible for the PAL budget - small, but very important to the organization.
With a friend, he set up a boys basketball team in the Clewiston area over this past year for fourth and seventh graders and for some 30 years he coached Clewiston Cougar Pop Warner football. He also coached the Clewiston Middle School boys basketball team for a season.
One of the biggest problems people tell him about is that there is nothing for kids to do in Hendry County - opening the door to less desirable activities.
That’s where a PAL organization could come in. Funded by the residents/businesses of Hendry County, one assigned deputy and members of the community could make a big difference for kids, he said.
He would also make more use of community policing, saying that people will come with needs and information to a community policing officer they have come to know and trust.
A strong auxiliary and Crime Watch would also figure prominently in his plans, he said, when people “become” part of the sheriff’s office.
Still, what Hendry County needs most is coverage, he said. The sheriff’s office needs to find ways to patrol the entire county, not just the town areas. Areas like Flaghole, Pioneer Plantation and Flaghole need patrols as much as the larger cities do as well as some of the “rougher” areas like Twin Lakes and parts of Harlem.
If elected he said he would redistribute some personnel, making sure all areas of the county are being patrolled, using captains and lieutenants if necessary.
As sheriff, he would concentrate on high crime areas where he said drugs are sold openly. There are even several unsolved murders he said he wants to delve into, including one that happened in Harlem Gardens and there has been no arrest as yet.
Mr. Jackson’s philosophy on law enforcement is simple: “Be fair. Enforce the law, don’t just make arrests. Talk to the residents.”
You can contact Mr. Jackson at 863-228-3279 or email jljackson6215gmail.com.