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Manor Township policeman Rupert enters race for Armstrong sheriff

| Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, 12:27 a.m.
Manor Township policeman Bill Rupert is running for the office of Armstrong County Sheriff.

Being in charge of courthouse security, prisoner transports and the serving of court documents are the most important jobs of the county sheriff, says Manor Township policeman Bill Rupert in announcing his candidacy for Armstrong County Sheriff.

“First and foremost, the sheriff's office has many responsibilities for the daily operation of the courthouse,” said Rupert, 44, of Rural Valley, who has been an officer with the Manor Township Police Department for more than 12 years and previously worked as a sheriff's deputy for Sheriff Larry Crawford. “Larry Crawford has done a great job running the office in the past 20 years that he has been sheriff. I plan to continue this service to the community, while being fiscally responsible to the taxpayers of this county.”

Rupert is a member of the Armstrong County Narcotics Enforcement Team (ARMNET) and was one of the original four area coordinators of the program.

As a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the office of sheriff in the spring primary, Rupert cites his 27 years of public service as giving him the qualities and experience necessary to run the sheriff's office.

In addition, Rupert has gained management experience in his employment as a general manager for an oil and gas company.

Rupert is the second Democrat to announce a candidacy for the office since Crawford said he will retire at the end of the year.

“One of the other things that I feel very strongly about is better protecting the children in our schools,” said Rupert. “As sheriff, I would coordinate with state and local police, first responders and the school district to create and implement an emergency action plan so we are readily prepared if an emergency were to occur in any of our schools.”

“I personally will go after the necessary funding, be it state or federal, and work with our local school districts, to hire school resource deputies who would work in the schools every day giving our children the best protection possible,” Rupert added. “Society shows us there is a need for this (protection). As society changes, we have to protect our children.”

Rupert says that as sheriff, he will continue to partner with Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreassi and District Judge Gary DeComo with the annual Armstrong County Awareness Day, continuing what Crawford has done in the past.

“I believe it is very important that we address issues such as domestic violence, sexual assault and the use of illegal drugs,” said Rupert. “Events such as the Armstrong County Awareness Day help families dealing with these issues get the resources and help they need.”

Born and reared in Armstrong County, Rupert graduated from Kittanning High School and the Lenape Technical School.

At age 18 he joined the Rayburn Township Fire Department, and currently is the president and assistant chief of the Rural Valley Fire Department. He was also certified as an emergency medical technician in 1989.

“As an Armstrong County Fire School instructor, I have had the opportunity to work with the men and women from every fire department in the county,” he said. “We are a huge brotherhood, and are always willing to help others.”

Rupert is a member of the Shannock Valley Sportsman Club, Armstrong County Fireman's Association, Western Pennsylvania Firemen's Association and the National Rifle Association.

Rupert's website is www.billrupertforsheriff.com.

Mitch Fryer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or mfryer@tribweb.com.

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