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Army Veteran Will Akin announces plans to replace retiring Sheriff Paul Vescovo


Clay County Emergency Manager and Emergency Preparedness Division Captain Will Akin has announced his candidacy for Clay County Sheriff. Akin, a Republican, is seeking to succeed Sheriff Paul Vescovo who announced he would not seek re-election in 2020.

“Sheriff Vescovo has had an exceptional career in law enforcement, and his mentorship and guidance have been invaluable,” said Akin. “My military and law enforcement experience has given me a unique perspective on leadership and management, and I believe that I am well-equipped to serve as Sheriff of Clay County.”

Akin has 25 years of combined military and law enforcement experience. He enlisted in the US Army in 1994 as a parachute rigger and went on to become a UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter Pilot serving as a Non-Commissioned Officer and Chief Warrant Officer.

After being honorably discharged, Akin began his law enforcement career with the Phoenix Police Department in 2003.

Akin also served as a Police Advisor in Afghanistan. In that role, he monitored, advised, and mentored local police to ensure that law and order was maintained effectively and impartially, according to the principles of policing. He worked closely with the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the United Nations, and his Afghan counterparts to address gender and human rights violations while working toward policing solutions compatible with Afghanistan’s culture.

“It was an honor and privilege to serve my country. I am proud to have served,” said Akin. “I now seek to serve the people of Clay County as their Sherriff. I served abroad to keep our communities safe, and now I want to make sure we are safe in our homes.”

Akin now serves as the Division Commander of the Emergency Preparedness Division, overseeing operations for Emergency Management, the 9-1-1 Communications Center, Public Information, and Media Relations. He is the appointed Director of Emergency Management for Clay County, is a Missouri Certified Emergency Manager level 2, and is certified in Disaster Preparedness through the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security. Akin is active in several local and regional committees working toward resolutions to regional projects and activities related to law enforcement and emergency management.

He is a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #4043, American Legion Post #95, and Liberty Rotary Club District, #6040. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and is a member of the Kansas/Western Missouri Chapter of the FBI National Academy Association.

Akin and his wife Jennifer live in Liberty, Missouri. They have three sons Jerod (23), Travis (19), and Jacob (14).

Akin has a Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Education from the University of Virginia, an M.B.A. in Management from California Coast University, and is currently working toward a doctorate in Ethical Leadership. Will is also an adjunct instructor at MidAmerica Nazarene University and enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with up and coming professionals.

Akin has retained Axiom Strategies to serve as consultants on his campaign.