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Forsyth Countys sheriff announces re-election bid

FORSYTH COUNTY — Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper has announced he will seek re-election in the May 24 Republican primary.

Piper, who is finishing his first term, said Thursday he has spent much of his tenure “leading major changes to streamline and modernize” the agency.

“I’m proud of what we accomplished in the short time I have been sheriff,” Piper said. “In December, the FBI released the latest crime statistics revealing Forsyth County to be the safest county in the area.”

Piper entered office in January 2013 after defeating three-term incumbent Ted Paxton in a primary runoff.

If re-elected, Piper said his second term would include the “installation of a new state-of-the-art public safety software system that will help consolidate the multiple outdated systems currently in use,” continuing to “develop and enhance community programs for everyone from children to the elders in the community.”

The sheriff said he wants to keep serving because he loves Forsyth County, “helping people and solving problems.”

A 29-year law enforcement veteran and former U.S. Army paratrooper, Piper said highlights of his first term include reducing the budget, upgrading agency equipment and managing a “complete restructuring of the departments operations to increase agency-wide efficiency and effectiveness.”

“We have been winning national and statewide awards for our traffic safety efforts and DUI enforcement,” he said. “Our Facebook page provides real-time, relevant information to the community.

“I am deeply committed to keeping our schools safe and our community education programs informative and current.”

Piper and his wife, Cindy, have been married for 31 years. They have two sons who are both military veterans, a daughter-in-law and two granddaughters who attend school in Forsyth County. Piper and his wife are members of Berean Baptist Church.

He will face at least one other candidate in the May primary.

Ron Freeman, who spent 26 years with the sheriff’s office, announced in November he would be running for the seat, for which qualifying opens next week.