Benton County Sheriff Scott Jackson is stepping down early next year.
Jackson notified his staff by email on Thursday afternoon that he would be retiring effective Feb. 1, then sent a similar email a few minutes later to the Benton County commissioners and other top county officials.
“It has been a great honor to lead this organization as well as a team of such incredibly talented and dedicated individuals,” Jackson wrote in his farewell to Sheriff’s Office personnel. “I am proud of each of you and sincerely believe you are second to none. I know we have highly capable and skilled individuals in the office that will continue to move the office forward as the true premier agency.”
In a short phone interview with the Gazette-Times on Monday, Jackson, 57, said he was ready to retire from law enforcement and he thought it was “time for a fresh perspective and a fresh vision” for the Sheriff’s Office.
“I’ve been (sheriff) for almost eight years,” he said. “It’s time for someone else to come in and move the office forward a little more than I could.”
Jackson declined to go into any further detail about the reasons for his decision or the timing of his announcement.
County Administrator Joe Kerby said he had not been anticipating Jackson’s retirement announcement, adding that the Board of Commissioners would discuss the process for appointing someone to fill out the remaining two years of Jackson’s current four-year term at Tuesday’s virtual meeting. Kerby said he was not aware of any recommendations by Jackson regarding who should succeed him.
Kerby said he appreciated Jackson’s service to the county.
“I wish him well,” Kerby said. “He’s done good things for Benton County and the community.”
Jackson has been with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office since 1995, when he moved from Arizona to take a job working in the county jail. He rose through the Corrections Division to become jail commander in 2006, and two years later he was promoted to undersheriff. He has been the sheriff since 2013, when he was appointed to fill out the unexpired term of his predecessor, Diana Simpson.
Jackson was elected to a full four-year term in 2014 and was reelected in 2018. His current term is set to expire at the end of 2022.