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PETTIS COUNTY, Mo. — In Pettis County, Missouri there’s going to be a new sheriff for the first time in 16 years. Tuesday night, Brad Anders won the race as an Independent after controversy in the county. He won the race by fewer than 350 votes.

Anders says Pettis County is where he’s called home for the past 30 years, and on January 1 he will become its sheriff. 

“The plan was to probably do it in 2024, until some current events, recent events happened that really concerned me about the circumstances surrounding them,” Anders said.

He’s talking about the death of Hannah Fizer in June. Fizer was shot and killed by a Pettis County deputy who was never charged in her death and is back to work. Residents in the county, including Fizer’s family, demanded answers, but there was no dashcam or body camera video in the incident.

“There’s a good portion of the citizenry in Pettis County that’s never going to know the truth of exactly what happened,” Anders said. “We didn’t have body cams, we didn’t have dash camera, anything like that to try and help provide evidence of either exoneration or incrimination, and when you don’t have that it’s hard to have trust in your law enforcement.”

He entered the race against current sheriff, Kevin Bond, as an independent through a petition. 

Bond declined to be interviewed, but said he is thankful for the voters and people who supported him the past 16 years he held office. Bond says he called Anders after the results to congratulate him and that he plans to make the transfer of power smooth.

“It’s a tremendous honor for Pettis County citizens to entrust me into this kind of position,” Anders said. “I love Pettis County.”

Anders is an officer with the Lee’s Summit Police Department and has been with the department for 11 years. He unsuccessfully ran for the sheriff seat in 2008 also against Bond. He also holds a PhD in criminal justice.

He said once he takes office, he plans to put dash and body cameras in place. Anders also hopes to focus on addiction and mental health issues in the region by working with local experts and professionals.