Tri-City Ledger -

By Joe Thomas
Ledger Editor 

Jackson takes seat at sheriff's office

Sheriff-elect joins staff prior to taking over


December 6, 2018

Joe Thomas

Jackson begins new role at sheriff's office

Heath Jackson won't officially become Escambia County's sheriff until Jan. 15, 2019, but the sheriff-elect joined the Alabama sheriff's office on Dec. 1, in a move out-going Sheriff Grover Smith said was in the best interest of Jackson and the residents of the county.

"When I first took the oath of office to be sheriff I took an oath to provide the best safety I could for the citizens of Escambia County," Sheriff Smith said. "I think part of that responsibility is to prepare him to be a success instead of waiting until Jan. 15 when he takes office."

"It's not a hard decision," Smith said. "It's something everybody needs to do. I'm not telling him what he should do or what he shouldn't do. It gives him an opportunity to meet all the employees and what I've done in the past. It's not that he has to follow anything I've done, those decisions will be his."

"My first obligation is to the people of Escambia County, whether they supported me or not, and until Jan. 15 I'll be the sheriff of Escambia County," Smith said. "He'll be my sheriff and everybody's sheriff in about a month."

Jackson said he appreciated Sheriff Smith's offer to allow him to join the sheriff's office early.

"I think I'm a captain, major or something," Jackson said.

He said Sheriff Smith approached him long before the election and offered to give him a position if he was elected.

"He wanted me to come in and see the workings of the agency," Jackson said. "I appreciate that more than you can imagine."

"Grover has been humble enough to let me come into his house and let me get my feet wet," Jackson added. "I'm very grateful for this opportunity."

Jackson said the month will allow him to look at the employees, the equipment and things he may want to change or not to change.

"I want the employees to be comfortable with me and I want to be comfortable with the employees," he said.

He said he's been spending the majority of his time looking at budgets and the day-to-day operations, saying he's spending a lot of his time looking at the jail.

"He's still the sheriff," Jackson said. "I answer to him, but I do appreciate the opportunity he has given me."


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