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Sweeney announces bid for Armstrong County sheriff

| Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, 12:02 a.m.
Chris Sweeney, 47, of Manor

The Armstrong County Sheriff's Office can lead local and state law enforcement in the fight against drugs and violent acts, says local business owner, law school graduate and former special assistant to the Armstrong County District Attorney's Office, Chris Sweeney, 47, of Manor, in announcing that he is a Republican candidate for Armstrong County Sheriff in the upcoming primary election.

“I believe that the sheriff's office cannot only support other local and state law enforcement, but lead as it deals with ever growing drug abuse, both with illegal drugs, as well as prescription drug abuse,” said Sweeney.

“We can lead law enforcement as our county deals with heinous crimes committed against our community. The horrific violence we have seen nationally is and should be a wake-up call to all communities, that we should be as pro-active as possible within our county to prevent such occurrences.”

Sweeney is the third candidate to announce for the elected office and the first Republican. Democrats Bill Rupert, a police officer, and Frank Pitzer, a county deputy sheriff, have announced their candidacies since longtime sheriff Larry Crawford said he will retire.

“If elected, I can assure the people of Armstrong County that I will lead and not follow,” said Sweeney.

“I will be a staunch advocate of law enforcement.”

Sweeney has a plan for keeping the county safe now and a safe place to reside in the future.

His plan includes school entrance and exit cameras monitored by the sheriff's department and 911 center, increased drug awareness programs in schools and helping with programs already in place headed by District Judge Gary DeComo and District Attorney Scott Andreassi.

“I feel the need for easier accessibility to the sheriff's office,” Sweeney added. “We can accomplish this by new sheriff sub-stations to be manned by deputies in the heaviest populated areas of our county. These are just a few ideas that I will work diligently to implement as sheriff.”

He said he recognizes that the current duties and obligations that the sheriff's office is responsible for are first and foremost the security of the courthouse, service of court documentation, prisoner transfers and assisting our community in lawful carry conceal permitting.

Sweeney said his inspiration to be involved with law enforcement comes from his father, former police officer Frank Sweeney.

“Growing up in a home with a police officer father greatly influenced my desire for law enforcement,” Sweeney said. “In my business life, I have continued to work closely with law enforcement to help thwart crime here in my hometown.”

Sweeney operates the Rodeway Inn in Manor; an advertising signs business; contracting company and furniture-making operation and says he has been involved as a public servant, both locally and nationally for most of his adult life.

Sweeney served in the Army and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. He spent 12 years working with the Big Brother/ Big Sister program, and is on the board of directors of Family ACTS, an organization which plays a role in the county's counseling of sex offenders, drug and alcohol addictions and family issues.

Sweeney is a 1984 graduate of Ford City Junior-Senior High School. He is the son of Frank and Mickie Sweeney. He is married to Jessica Sweeney and is the father of two children, Taylor, 9, and Mia, five months old.

His candidate website is www.sweeney4sheriff.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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