Decorated officer files letter of intent for Sheriff

Published 1:52 pm Tuesday, October 26, 2021

This is one story out of a series to cover the upcoming elections in Harlan County. The Enterprise does not endorse candidates and will provide other candidates the opportunity to interview for election-based stories.

Another local also filed his letter of intent to run for office in Harlan County, spurring conversations throughout the county on who locals want as their next elected Sheriff.

Chris Brewer, a well-known law enforcement officer, said he has served over 16 years at the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office, including court security, bailiff, process server, school resource officer, patrol deputy, sergeant (supervisor) and detective.

Brewer was also awarded the Kentucky Sheriff’s Association Medal of Valor, three Governor’s Highway Safety Awards, a Harlan County Sheriff’s Office Distinguished Service Award and multiple Harlan Enterprise Readers’ Choice Awards, which are voted on by locals throughout the county.

“I graduated from Evarts High School with honors and attended UVA-WISE on an athletic scholarship. Due to a terminal family illness, I left UVA-WISE during my sophomore year and finished my Associate Degree at SKCTC making the Dean’s List while there,” he said.

“I come from a family of service. My father was a proud US Navy veteran. Both brothers were proud US Army veterans with both being deployed for Operation Noble Eagle and one deploying to Iraq, as well as serving in law enforcement,” Brewer said. “My step dad has served over 30 years as a volunteer firefighter, as well as 15 years with the Harlan County Rescue Squad. My wife is the proud daughter of a US Army veteran and serves our community as an ICU nurse. My mother retired from working for the state and proudly serves our community by organizing several community service events yearly.”

Brewer said he believes in service, honor and commitment, and is running for Sheriff because “I believe that right now is our draw-the-line-in-the-sand moment for the drug problem in Harlan County.”

“We are now seeing drugs like heroin and fentanyl pour into our county and communities. Every community has someone who is ‘wide open,’ and their clientele wonder the streets all day and night, which leads to other crimes and theft taking place,” he said. “Our parks are littered with syringes and our kids do not feel safe to go play in the parks. Now is the time to take our communities back. We need to utilize all of our resources to free up more deputies for patrol. We need to change tactics and have a more proactive approach instead of a reactive approach.

“Many years ago, when I first started on patrol, we did park checks and the complaints on syringes being found went away. We need to get back to that. We need to have patrol available later into the night/early morning hours when a majority of thefts take place. Let the thieves know that we own the night, not them. We need increased patrol county wide.”

Brewer said Harlan County also needs a K-9 officer.

Partnership between the Sheriff’s Office and Harlan County Public Schools is also something Brewer said has been crucial in making bonds with youth.

“I would love to see that bond grow with programs like Shop with a Deputy, and instilling an anti-drug program similar to DARE in Harlan County,” he said.

Brewer said he supports all other first responders in Harlan County and believes in sending a deputy to fire scenes “just to check on the fire crews due to recent events of a firefighter being assaulted on a scene.”

“If I am blessed to be elected your Sheriff of Harlan County, I can assure you that I will be a Sheriff for the people and defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States. I am a man of faith, but I am also a man of action. Let’s take our communities back.”

Since filing his letter of intent, Brewer said he is humbled by all of the support he has received from the communities throughout the county.

Candidates seeking office will file for election in the Harlan County Clerk’s Office beginning Nov. 3 until Jan. 7, 2022, at 4 p.m. Packets are available now for those interested in running.