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Newton County Sheriff Keith Slape would like to let the citizens of Newton County know that he has been dealing with some health issues that will continue to be a factor in the upcoming weeks.

            “Recently, following some headaches and neck pain, a tumor was discovered in my neck that was on my spine. The tumor has been causing some issues that required me to visit a specialist in Little Rock. At this point, I am scheduled to have surgery in the very near future.” Slape said.

            “After the surgery, I will spend a few days in the hospital then will come home for the remainder of my recovery. Recovery time will take several weeks, but I will still be overseeing the operations of the Sheriff’s Office, just on light duty.” Slape continued.

            “The main thing I want to make clear is that the citizens of Newton County will not suffer in any way from this. I have a great team in place that can deal with the day to day business and are very capable of handling things in my absence. For bigger issues, the folks at the office will be able to contact me. I will also be checking in at the office and taking care of administrative issues from home, as needed.”

            “The doctor tells me they don’t yet know if the tumor is malignant or not and will not be able to determine that until they remove it. But, on the bright side, over eighty percent of these are benign. I would appreciate everyone’s prayers and understanding while we deal with this.”

            “I fully believe in transparency of my office as long as it doesn’t jeopardize any ongoing investigations or people’s privacy. I would rather let everyone know what is going on up front and squash any rumors that may come up.”