Habersham Co. - Former Marine and Assistant Jail Administrator for Habersham County, Sam Jones, announced his bid for Habersham County Sheriff. Below is his statement.
Citizens of Habersham County:
Throughout my adult life, it has been an honor and privilege to serve this great nation, the State of Georgia, and Habersham County.
As I have been given the opportunity to choose my purpose in life; I’ve come to accept that my calling is to serve. My journey began by pledging to protect my country, becoming a United States Marine, serving as a Military Policeman. After faithfully serving my country; I received an Honorable Discharge as a Non-Commissioned Officer from the United States Marine Corps.
Willfully accepting my calling to continue serving and returning to the community that gave me purpose, I accepted a position with the Georgia Department of Corrections. Gaining further experience led me to my new passion continuing to serve with the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office.
Over the last 20+ years of serving with the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office, I’ve been recognized and promoted by way of rank; quickly rising through the levels of leadership. After becoming a Detention Officer and sharing my hunger for growth, I quickly rose through the ranks to the position of Assistant Jail Administrator. Continuing my commitment to my Community, I was promoted to the Uniform Patrol Division, now able to affect immediate change in a proactive environment.
After successfully graduating from the Northeast Georgia Police Academy in 2000 and utilizing my now enhanced leadership abilities; I was recognized again by way of rank ultimately becoming a Patrol Supervisor. During my time on patrol I was able to see first-hand one of the greater challenges our Community was experiencing; a rising drug epidemic. Taking my patrol knowledge and becoming a subject matter expert in Georgia Criminal Law and Traffic Law, my talents aligned with the Northeast Georgia Drug Task Force Unit (NEGDTF); to which I took a position as a Narcotics Investigator. NEGDTF was a collaborative Law Enforcement unit comprised of surrounding counties wanting to make a significant impact on illegal narcotics.
After serving with NEGDTF, I returned to The Habersham County Sheriff's Office, accepting a patrol supervisor’s position. Later, I was put in charge of an elite traffic division, Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic Unit (HEAT). In 2012, I was promoted to the rank of Patrol Lieutenant, supervising daily operations of both day and night shifts for the Uniformed Patrol Division. Training was a high priority to ensure the Community we serve was provided the level of service warranted. Holding numerous Instructor Certifications, I took personal pride in sharing the knowledge to our current and future Law Enforcement Community. Not only does the Law Enforcement Community receive the benefit of those 3300+ hours of Certified Training, but the citizens of Habersham County do also.
I am a believer that positive and progressive change is necessary. To make those changes, office leadership must speak as one supportive voice; this has been an ongoing challenge across Administration in the years I’ve served at the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office. Poor leadership abilities and personal interest being a motivator for some office leaders have led to constant staff turnover and losing qualified personnel. This “revolving door” effect has cost our county taxpayers a tremendous amount in dollars, but more-so reducing the quality of service to be provided by The Habersham County Sheriff’s Office. Negative morale is one of many sources that fuel the poor work habit cycle. This is troubling and has begun to directly impact Community Relations; damaging public perception and eliminating trust in HCSO.
Leaders embrace the Principles of Teamwork by Mentoring, Coaching and ensuring Accountability; while asking to be held accountable all the same. Creating positive energy and fostering professional growth leads to a healthier Sheriff’s Office. A Healthier Sheriff’s Office our community wants, deserves and is prepared to support. Together, is how we get that done, Habersham County. Together.
As a lifelong Citizen of Habersham County, I am ready for change. As a leader in the Law Enforcement Community, I am ready for change. Habersham County has spoken, and change is coming.
After careful consideration, with the full support of our community, I would like to announce my candidacy for Habersham County Sheriff. Using my 28+ years of experience, along with the knowledge and training I’ve gained along my journey, I am prepared to continue serving our Community as your Sheriff. I am committing to bringing the highest levels of Professionalism, Integrity, Dependability, and Proactive Leadership to The Habersham County Sheriff's Office; serving the Citizens of Habersham County.
I, Sam Jones, am asking for your vote and support during the upcoming primary election. Bringing this positive and much-needed change will require us, as a community, to work together. Together- We are Stronger; Our Community, Our Commitment is stronger together. I wish to thank the Community for their confidence, and I am forever grateful to be given this opportunity to continue serving the Citizens of Habersham County.