New sheriff Price taking reins Tuesday
As one sheriff retires, a new sheriff-elect is preparing to take the helm in Rusk County.
Jeff Price, 48, defeated Democrat Oscar Still in the November election and will officially start his tenure on Tuesday.
He said he looks forward to "getting in there and getting busy."
In the past month and a half, he said he's reviewed positions in the Rusk County Sheriff's Office, interviewed employees and is trying to get the staff "ready to go." He's already announced in-house chan-ges. Sheriff Lt. Charles Helton is tapped as the new chief deputy, and David Marshall, with the Henderson Police Department, is being brought in to be the head of criminal investigations.
Once Price starts, he said he also would review the policy manual and pass it on to employees. However, his main goal was to promote the sheriff's office and make it a more professional agency that residents would be proud of and rely on "to perform the duties they are supposed to perform."
He said he wants to reduce response time and encourage officers to become more active in the community.
Price also thanked residents for supporting him and electing him and said people with questions or concerns are welcome to call the sheriff's office, and he or someone else will call them back.
Price has worked for the Henderson Police Department for 28 years, with the past 15 in administration.
Price looked at running for sheriff in the past eight years or so but had not planned to run for another four years. However, when Sheriff Pirtle decided not to run, Price said he saw it as the most opportune time.
"It's time to move on to the next step. Everyone's always looking to further their career and move up to the next step," he said in November. "I'm going to do the best job I can. My intentions are to do what I can to be the best sheriff I can possibly be for (residents)."
Rusk County and District Attorney Micheal Jimerson said he is excited about Price -- as well as his previous experience -- and hopes he brings continuity.