March 14, 2014 | 09:41 AMELKHORN - David Graves has announced that he will not seek re-election as sheriff.
In a press release received by the Regional News today, Graves also endorses Undersheriff Kurt Picknell as his successor.
Sheriffs are elected to four-year terms. The sheriff’s office is up for election in November.
Graves’ term ends in January 2015. He was first elected in 2000 and took office in 2001.
According to the release, Graves has been in law enforcement for 42 years, starting as a police aide with the Whitewater Police Department in 1972.
A year later, Graves became a Whitewater patrolman. He left the Whitewater police in 1976 to become a Walworth County Sheriff’s deputy.
While with the sheriff’s department, Graves progressed through the ranks from patrol deputy, sergeant, lieutenant, and undersheriff.
He was elected sheriff in 2000. During the past 14 years that Graves has been sheriff, the sheriff’s department has moved to new quarters and a new jail.
The department has also participated in new programs, such as home monitoring and diversion programs to reduce jail population and extend the life of the current lockup. Graves credits his staff with implementing new programs and keeping the department “community oriented.”
Picknell has been undersheriff for Graves for the past 14 years.
According to the release, Picknell holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice management and a master’s degree in business administration. “Based on his education, years of experience, dedication, and personal values, I strongly believe that Undersheriff Kurt Picknell should be the next Walworth County Sheriff,” Graves said through the release.