Sullivan County will soon have a new sheriff, after voters outside long-time Sheriff Wayne Anderson.
Independent Candidate Jeff Cassidy beat out Anderson after winning nearly twice as many voters.
Cassidy received 16,843 votes, while Anderson got 8,560.
Cassidy is the current Training Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Walter State Community College. With more than 20 years of law enforcement experience, he started his career in 1997 at the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office. There, he served as a captain, SWAT team leader, and captain, and was a member of the honor guard.
News Channel 11’s Caroline Corrigan sat down with the sheriff-elect Friday to find out how he plans to transform the sheriff’s office.
“Nobody should be in fear of their jobs,” Cassidy said. “There will be some reassignments, I wouldn’t even call them demotions, they may go from an upper level to a level I think they are going to prosper at.”
Cassidy said he has plans to tackle some top issues in Sullivan County such as drug trafficking and the overcrowding issue at the jail.
“I think it all starts with mirroring other agencies that have successful practices in place, that’s helping their jail of overcrowding,” Cassidy said. “I’m going to try to doubly my VICE unit and work with other agencies in Sullivan County, where we can patrol I-81, I-26, so we can eliminate some of these drugs that are coming into the Tri-Cities.”
Cassidy said with these changes, he also plans to improve employee morale.
“I’m going to take the politics out of the sheriff’s office,” Cassidy said.
One way he plans to improve the morale of employees is by implementing a nepotism policy. As of right now, the sheriff’s office has no policy against family members working together.
“I really don’t have a problem with a family member who works in another division,” Cassidy said. “Nepotism is a big problem when people have moved around, promoted, assigned due to who they are rather than their knowledge, skills, and results.”
Before the election, Sheriff Anderson was working with the county commissioner to add 14 extra school resource officers (SROS), which would place an officer at each school in the county.
Cassidy said he fully supports the plan moving forward.
“I think it’s a great idea, I’m all about school safety measures,” Cassidy said.
Cassidy said he will be sworn in as sheriff on August 24.