ELECTION 2014: Coker seeks to keep Dunn County sheriff role

Clay Coker has announced his candidacy to be elected as Dunn County Sheriff.

Posted April 25, 2014

Submitted By MARTI GARY


Clay Coker
Clay Coker


Clay Coker has announced his candidacy to be elected as Dunn County Sheriff.

Coker was appointed in June 2013 to the office of Sheriff and was chosen by a selection committee consisting of Dunn County Commissioners and other North Dakota Sheriffs. He was selected for his extensive law enforcement administrative skills and experience

Coker grew up in northeast Texas in a farming/ranching family and has been a licensed peace officer for 27 years. He began his law enforcement career in Texas before moving to his wife’s hometown of Libby, Montana. He and his wife Carnita have been married for 30 years and have six children.

Clay Coker served as the Chief of Police for the Libby Police Department for 13 years and created the department from the ground up in July of 1996. . He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, session 235. Coker said that the FBI National Academy was one of the highlights of his career. “During the session I was able to attend the 233rd Marine Corps birthday at the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. where I met late author Tom Clancy, FBI Director Robert Muller III, and the oldest attending Marine, Retired Colonel Walter Walsh, who was 101 years old at the time,” Coker said.

Coker is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, serving from 1982 to 1987 in Field Artillery. He also served from 1990 to 1991 with the Montana Army National Guard as a Cavalry Scout. He is a current member of the American Legion, Ezra Barrows Post 46 in Killdeer.

Coker not only has had a long career in domestic law enforcement but has international experience as well. Coker served as a Civilian Police Officer with the International Police Task Force in Kosovo from 2000 to 2001 and as a Professional Law Enforcement Mentor to the Commanding General of the Afghan National Civil Order Police (ANCOP) in Afghanistan in 2009. Speaking of his mission in Kosovo, Coker said, “We were tasked with bringing stability and order to a war zone. We were looked upon as the “good guys” but sometimes got caught in the crossfire.” Coker was injured in a terrorist bombing of the Serbian ambassador’s residence and was eventually evacuated from the mission.

Clay Coker was most recently employed as the Executive Director of the Montana Public Safety Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council. Clay Coker is a certified Police Ethics instructor with the National Institute of Ethics and was the primary Ethics instructor at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy for several years. Under Coker’s leadership as Chief of Police, the Libby Police Department was the first agency in Montana and the eleventh in the nation to receive the National Institute of Ethics Certification of Integrity. Coker is currently in the process of seeking the Certification of Integrity for the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department. “The certificate confirms that the leadership of an organization has taken substantial steps to prevent employee misconduct and strengthens public confidence in the department,” Coker said. Coker is the North Dakota Chapter Director of the International Association of Ethics Trainers.

Coker has a Master Instructor certification in several law enforcement topics and is a North Dakota POST certified instructor in Firearms and all general law enforcement subjects. He has delivered hundreds of hours of instruction, both domestic and international, in firearms, ethics, Taser, terrorism, and numerous other subjects. Coker has also been an authorized trainer with the Department of Homeland Security providing awareness level training to first responders in Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Clay Coker holds numerous law enforcement commendations. These are the Patriot Award, Combat Cross, Gallantry Star, Wounded in Combat, Combat Action (3rd Award), Peace Keeping (2nd Award), Meritorious Unit Commendation, Unit Citation, Good Conduct, and Educational Achievement. Clay Coker is also an author and has published two books: Letters Home- The Silvey Brothers in WWII and Kosovo Diary- My Civilian Police Mission in Kosovo.

If you would like to contact or know more about Clay Coker, you can visit his website at votecoker.com or call 701-590-3106.

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