Sheriff's Message

In January 2017, I took office as Sheriff of Independence County. I made a promise to the citizens to improve the working relationship between all departments of Law Enforcement. I have accomplished that. In 2017 between all Law Enforcement agencies we were able to file over 400 felony cases in circuit court. That is the most in a single year that have been filed in some time.

In 2017 the Independence County Sheriff’s Department changed to a practical working uniform. With this new look we also were able to get donations to change the striping on our units to give them a new look. We were able to restructure the Independence County Sheriff’s Department.  We were able to restart our narcotics unit. Our narcotics unit has been involved in several drug investigations, controlled buys, and drug busts.  Our Criminal Investigation Unit has been able to solve several crimes and make arrests on them.

The patrol division is made up of 16 deputies that patrol the roads of Independence County. We have four deputies on each shift.  We work with a minimum of three at a time on duty.

We have partnered with the Law Enforcement Community Relations Team to provide active shooter training and ladies self defense classes to our citizens. This is a good program and urge anyone interested to find a class and attend it.

In March of 2017, we were able to obtain funding for Narcan and Trauma packs for all deputies. We provided training to all deputies and got the equipment issued.  We have been able to save lives with the issuance of the equipment. Deputies have used both the Narcan and supplies that were inside the Trauma packs to save lives.

In October of 2017, the Independence County Sheriff’s Department along with No Limits Therapy partnered with Stephanie Cooper to offer ALERT (Autism Law Enforcement Response Training) for all local law enforcement officers. This training gave us hands on experience on how to handle people with Autism.  All officers were given a kit to carry with them to assist in handling people with Autism.

In 2018 we have had some staffing problems at our jail. We have had to stop holding female inmates but we are getting our staffing numbers back up and working on bringing back female inmates.

In 2018 we were able to get new side arms for our deputies. We changed to the Glock 17 gen. 5.  With the change to the new guns, we have been able to go from shooting once a year to more firearms training for deputies and shooting a minimum of 4 times a year. We were also able to get donations from local businesses to build more targets to use.

With the hard work and dedication of our staff, we are working very hard to keep all our citizens safe. We strive to provide the best law enforcement available to our residents of Independence County.  We will continue to work hard for the citizens of Independence County.

Shawn Stephens

Independence County Sheriff

Shawn Stephens


Aaron Moody

Chief Deputy

Rita Garlin

Office Administrator