quickly took the job and served as deputy until 2000. “When I was given the opportunity to go into law enforce- ment, I took it,” he said. During this time, he attended the Arkansas Law Enforce-

ment Training Academy and worked his way up to being a criminal investigator. “I enjoyed being a criminal investigator because it was very chal- lenging,” Bradley said. “No cases were the same, and it was very rewarding when we were able to solve a case and help someone.” From 2000 to 2002, he worked for the 16th Judicial District

of Arkansas Drug Task Force as a drug enforcement agent. In 2002, he was elected Van Buren County sheriff and made the safety and welfare of the citizens his top priority. “I feel serv- the

ing as citi-

zens of Van Buren Coun- ty


for 15 years has given me the insight necessary to serve the sher- iffs,” he said. When Bradley thinks of his career highlights as sheriff, peo- ple come to mind. He thinks of the kids he helped through the Shop with a Cop Program that provided Christmas presents to kids in Van Buren County. He also thinks of “working with a fantastic staff for the past 15 years that are more like family than coworkers.”


PROFILE “Ronnie was a mentor and a very close friend, and I value

cannot imagine a better job than working for the sheriffs of the great state of Arkansas. As the executive director, I feel the top priority is to always be available and take care of any problems that may arise.

Along with the good times, there were always difficult times as sheriff, Bradley said. One event that will forever stick in his memory is the February 2008 tornado that devastated a large portion of Van Buren County. Te tornado caused three fatali- ties and severe damage to homes and businesses. “No matter how much you prepare, these situations are very chaotic and stressful,” he said. “But with the help of county and state agencies we were able to work together and take care of the situation. I’m very proud of how everyone came to- gether to serve the citizens of Van Buren County.” As one of the longest tenured sheriffs in Arkansas, Bradley was comfortable with his job in Van Buren County. But his skills go beyond local government. He has tread the waters of state government by serving on the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Associa- tion board of directors and as association president from 2013 to 2014, which allowed him to work with former executive director Ronnie Baldwin, who passed away in August 2016.

greatly the time that I got to work alongside him,” he said. “Ronnie had an incredible work ethic and truly cared about the sheriffs of Arkansas. One thing is for sure, you never had to wonder what he was thinking.” Polk County Sheriff Mike Godfrey was Baldwin’s immediate successor last year. However, he has returned to his home and family in Mena and is working as an investigator for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Te executive director’s position, with its requirement of sound public relations skills and the intuition and knowledge to deal with local and state government, seems a natural fit for Bradley. “I cannot imagine a better job than working for the sher- iffs of the great state of Arkansas,” he said.

“As the

executive di- rector, I feel the top prior- ity is to always be available and take care

of any problems that may arise. Tere are big shoes to fill, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to serve as the director at such a great organization.” New Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association President and Perry County Sheriff Scott Montgomery said he has no doubt Brad- ley will easily pick up the director reigns left by Godfrey. “My hope is to see the association continue to grow with his leadership,” Montgomery said. “Sheriff Bradley is one of the longest tenured sheriffs in the state. Along with those years of experience he brings honesty, integrity and dedication to the role as director. With the association losing a great leader like Mike Godfrey, it is our goal to have business carry on as usual and, Sheriff Bradley will be the perfect fit.” Te director role is a position Bradley can see himself in for a while. “My future plans are to serve as the director of the associa- tion as long as they will have me,” he said. Bradley is a proud family man. When he’s not on the job,

he’s spending time with his wife and children. He also likes spending time outdoors hunting, fishing and golfing. Bradley’s community service does not end at the county

government level. He has served as a Shirley School District board member and as vice chairman of the Arkansas profes- sional bail bonding licensing board. COUNTY LINES, FALL 2017 39

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