Sheriff, Lauderdale County (AL) Sheriff’s Office
From the time I was a small boy I always wanted to be a law enforcement officer. I grew up watching Broderick Crawford in Highway Patrol as well as Dragnet, Car 54 Where Are You? and so on.
I began my career as a reserve deputy sheriff with the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office in 1972. I was asked by one of the deputies on the way to my first assignment why I was volunteering, to which I responded, “One day I want to be sheriff.” I was 21 years old. I worked for the Sheriff’s Office as a reserve deputy, corrections officer and deputy sheriff. I ran for sheriff for the first time in 1978 when I was 26 years old and came in fourth in a twelve-man race. After the election I went to work with the Florence, Alabama police department and worked my way through the ranks, being appointed Chief of Police in 1996. After serving as chief more than sixteen years I retired from the police department and people began encouraging me to run for sheriff again. (I had run a second time in 1990 and again lost the election). I ran in 2014 as one of eight men in the race. I defeated my lone Republican opponent and then the democratic nominee by an overwhelming majority and became the first Republican sheriff in the history of Lauderdale County.
The most important person in my career has been my wife, Peggy. She has been my confidant, my encourager and my strongest supporter for more than 40 years. I could not have done it without her.
As I look back over my career there were many highs and lows. Things happened that were devastating to me at the time. But I came to realize that it is true, all things happen for a reason and in His due time. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the citizens of Lauderdale County as their sheriff and I thank God for the privilege.