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Hampton steps down, Stephens to take over as sheriff

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By Josh Shepherd, News writer

Harrison County Sheriff Bruce Hampton officially announced that he will take an early retirement from office effective July 31.

Pursuant to Hampton’s announcement, Harrison County Judge-Executive Alex Barnett said that the fiscal court intends to appoint Harrison County Sheriff-elect Shain Stephens to finish out Hampton’s term beginning on Aug. 1.

Stephens defeated Hampton in May’s primary election. He was slated to begin his term on Jan. 1, 2015.

In his retirement letter, addressed to Barnett, the magistrates and all of Harrison County, Hampton explained that he is anxious to “pursue other professional endeavors.”

“My retirement will also provide me an opportunity to spend time with my family,” Hampton wrote.

“I want to thank the citizens of Cynthiana and Harrison County for letting me have the great honor of being your sheriff for the last 25 years. I will miss working with you,” Hampton wrote.

Commenting on his anticipated retirement on Monday, Hampton said leaving his position early is also a practical consideration.

“It will make tax time easier for the incoming sheriff. It starts in September and the forms and papers are required to have his name on everything. It makes a more orderly transition for the person coming in if we don’t divide the tax season,” Hampton said.

Stephens, in anticipation of the transition, will step down as a lieutenant in the Paris Police Department on Monday, July 14. He is excited about the prospect of starting early.

“I appreciate the opportunity to start learning the official duties of the sheriff’s office,” Stephens said. “I understand the law enforcement aspect. But there is a lot more to the position.”

Stephens welcomes getting a head start. 

 “I wanted to spend my first several months learning from the deputies and staff people about the office and about procedures. I’ve tried to let everyone know that I think it’s important they stay on,” Stephens said. “They’re a good staff and I’ll need to lean on them until I understand everything about the position.”