Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of articles about the contested races in Cherokee County. Articles about other races will be published on subsequent Mondays.

By Kelly Young


Both Democratic candidates vying for the position of constable of Precinct 2 are working as reserve officers with the Alto Police Department, and both said they feel beeing elected to the position of constable will allow them to serve the community in a greater capacity.

Mark Green and Jeremy Jackson will oppose each other on their party’s March 4 primary, and the victor will then face either Jake Carter or Jack White in the November elections.

Mark Green

Mark Green has been involved in law enforcement for 17 years, with much of that experience taking place in Cherokee County. In addition to serving for a decade with the Rusk Police Department, Green has also worked as a deputy constable in Anderson County, as a Coffee City police warrant officer for a few years, as an officer with the Wells Police Department for a year and as police chief of Cuney for a year.

Green has been reserving in Alto for the past four years and is employed by Union Pacific Railroad. He said some of his most rewarding work as been with programs that work with the county’s children.

According to Green, his years of work as a law enforcement officer have given him three major areas where he would like to focus his efforts as constable.

“Being around Cherokee County as long as I have, while working with the community I’ve noticed three major problems that I would like to do my part to work on. The justice of the peace court doesn’t always take up all of the constable’s time, so they have some leeway in what they want to do with their time,” he said.

Green said he would like to work to help elderly people who are victims of property crimes.

“I’ve seen a rash of burglaries and thefts of elderly people’s property over the last few years. These are people who spent their whole lives working, and now that they are on a fixed-income, they may not have the money to replace what’s been stolen,” Green said. “Law enforcement agencies don’t always have the manpower they need, so I would like to focus on helping them and working to get their property back to them, because you only have a few days to find the property before it’s gone for good.”

He said he also believes Cherokee County has a family violence problem, and he would work as a liaison between law enforcement and the victims of domestic violence. He said many victims of family violence don’t do anything about their situation because they don’t understand the process — Green said he would help victims understand the process and their own rights.

“I’ve also seen, through DARE and other youth programs I’ve been involved in, that children often feel like they don’t get any justice, and that law enforcement doesn’t listen to them — which I think helps them get caught up in gang activity,” he said. “I would like to be able to go into the schools and build a rapport with the students so they can have a positive relationship with law enforcement.”

Green lives in Alto and has worked in both Rusk and Wells, and he said he believes his familiarity with the precinct will be an asset as constable.

“I have more experience in civil processes than any other candidate, and I’m the only candidate bringing ideas of change to the position. I grew up in this area and I have been active in the community for a long time. I see some issues that need to be changed, and I want to be a part of that change,” Green said.

Jeremy Jackson

Very early in his life, Jeremy Jackson knew he wanted to be a police officer. A lifelong resident of Alto, Jackson said he has dreamed about a career in law enforcement since he was old enough to talk.

“The one thing that really got the ball rolling for me was career day in school, I got to ride around with the police chief of Alto at the time, and that really got me interested,” Jackson said.

Upon completion of the police academy, Jackson worked with the Alto Police Department for one year and the Rusk Police Department for two years before returning to the family business, Leo Hicks Creosoting Company in Alto.

Members of Hilltop Baptist Church, Jackson and his wife both teach Sunday school each week.

“I’m currently reserving for the city of Alto and have been doing that for about eight months now. I reserved in Alto for a month prior to them hiring me, and I’ve been reserving with Alto again since I left RPD in July of 2007,” he said. “I’ve always been big into drug interdiction, traffic interdiction and DWI (driving while intoxicated) interdiction. There isn’t always enough papers in the justice of the peace court to keep me working 40 hours week, so I will be out doing highway, drug and DWI interdiction as much as possible.”

Jackson said he will be there to assist his precinct’s police departments and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department whenever his duties allow him.

“If elected, this will be my only job. I’m committed to doing this job for a full 40 hours a week. I would be a very active constable. I’m only one person — I can’t be everywhere at once, but I would do my best to be visible in every neighborhood in the precinct,” Jackson said.

According to Jackson, he has a good personal relationship with Judge Teresa Phifer, Precinct 2’s justice of the peace, which he thinks will translate into a good working relationship.

“I’ve known Judge Phifer for six years, and I have been friends with her since she became JP. There’s no doubt that I will be able to work well with her,” he said. “Mostly, my responsibility as constable will be to take care of her court, serving any civil papers that might come out of that court.

At 27 years old, Jackson said believes his enthusiasm is his greatest qualification.

“I think I’m the best candidate for the job because of my drive. I feel like I have more drive and more get out to do the job well than any other candidate running. I’ve always wanted to serve the citizens who live around me, and this is my best chance to do that,” Jackson said.

He said he would appreciate any support the voters give him.

“If elected I will serve every single citizen of the precinct. I think the public kind of views the constable as an unneeded position, and I want to turn that all around,” he said.

Both candidates encouraged the public to get out and participate in early voting.

Early voting begins Feb. 19 and continues through Feb. 29. Election day is March 4. The Jacksonville Daily Progress will be covering the other primary races in the coming weeks.

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