GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss. (WCBI) – From Calhoun and Union counties in the north to Winston County to the south, a record number of retirements last year left voters picking more new sheriffs than ever before. Some came with inside knowledge of their departments. Others were outsiders.
Several Northeast Mississippi counties elected first time sheriff’s in 2011. Two of those sheriffs are in the Golden Triangle.
“It has been a learning experience going in. As a matter of fact, I learn something every day dealing with different things. But we’ve accomplished a lot of things. It’s been a pretty good year,” says Oktibbeha County Sheriff Steve Gladney, who beat a long-time incumbent.
Sheriff Gladney was a Mississippi State Trooper for 28 years prior to being elected Sheriff. After just one year, his department is now one of only four to be recognized by the state.
“One of the goals that I had when I got elected Sheriff was to get the department state accredited. Last month, in November we were able to do that,” says Gladney.
Sheriff Eddie Scott worked for the Clay County Sheriff’s Department for 13 years before being elected. He says knowing the department’s needs has helped him get things done.
“We’ve been able to add a DUI enforcement officer. We’re real excited about that. We’re also in the process of trying to add a K-9 unit. So basically it’s all about serving the people,” says Scott.
Sheriff Scott says he plans to continue serving the community throughout his term.
“We’re trying to find the needs of the County. Of course, budgets are tight. So we’re having to do more with less but so far we’ve been able to accomplish it and we want to try to continue doing what we’ve been doing,” says Scott.
New sheriffs say tight budgets are their single biggest challenge. More than 20 new Sheriffs were elected last year in North Mississippi.