MIDLAND COUNTY, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- Midland County Sheriff candidate Rory McKinney has more than 34 years of law enforcement experience and, during those three decades, served the Midland County community in multiple ways. He retired from MCSO in 2020, but said his love for the community has inspired him to run for Sheriff in 2024.

“The compassion I have for this community and the people of Midland, Texas, and the (MCSO) employees- I wanna give back and help the employees and re-energize the Sheriff’s Office, get morale built back up, and I know that I can do that with my experience,” he said in an interview earlier this week.

McKinney joined MCSO in 1986 and served for two years as a detention officer. He then attended the Odessa College Law Enforcement Academy and was later hired as a patrol officer with MCSO in 1989. He spent two years “on the streets” before being promoted and said he gained valuable experience by serving on the “frontlines”.

In 1991, McKinney became an investigator for MCSO’s Criminal Investigation Division and was assigned to the Narcotics Division in 1992. He held that position until he was promoted to sergeant in 1995; he then led that division until 1998 when he was promoted to lieutenant of the Criminal Investigations Division. He continued to move up the ranks with a promotion to Captain of that same division and served in that capacity for 14 years.

Then, in 2016, under the leadership of the late Gary Painter, he was promoted to Chief Deputy, a position he held until retirement.

He’s worn many hats, and worn them well, according to his supporters and evident by the many awards he received over the course of his career: Texas Lawmen of the Year, Crime Prevention Award, and Top Hand Award, among others.

McKinney said that experience in leadership would serve him well, should he be elected. Not only would he focus on the morale of the Sheriff’s Office, he said he would also tackle important issues such as creating a special crimes unit to target street level narcotics crimes, as well as human trafficking. He also wants to re-instate the oil field theft investigator position amid rising theft. He also wants to expand the Sheriff’s Office presence to cut down on response times.

“I want to put a substation at Greenwood, that would cut down response time in half, if not more,” he said.

If you want to learn more about the candidate, or his pick for Chief Deputy, Jorge Martinez, who has served in law enforcement since 2010, you can meet them in person from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 23, at Martinez Bakery Express, located at 1805 SCR 1105, Unit S, in Greenwood. The meet and greet will serve as the first of many ahead of election day. Or, you can learn more by visiting this website.

Mckinney, as well as sitting Sheriff David Criner, and Sheriff hopeful Justin Painter, will be on the Republican Primary ballot next year. Election day is set for March 5 and early voting will begin on February 20th.