New Tuscaloosa Sheriff talks about direction of department - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

New Tuscaloosa Sheriff talks about direction of department

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Tuscaloosa County has a new sheriff and he said things at the department will continue as usual.

Governor Robert Bentley appointed Billy Sharp as the new Tuscaloosa County Sheriff.  Former Sheriff Ted Sexton retired to take a position with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

He admits he may not look like the toughest sheriff around, but Tuscaloosa County's new Sheriff Billy Sharp said he can still hold his own in a push-up contest.

The retired law enforcement trainer for the Alabama Criminal Justice Center, said when his friend Governor Bentley called and asked if he'd be the new sheriff, he said may not get another offer. "When you're 79 and started at the bottom with the, I started at the bottom working cold cases. I may not have a lot of time to get to the top."

When asked if the he was prepared to stay in the position to the end of Sexton's term in January of 2015, Sharp showed his sense of humor and replied , "If I live."

But all jokes aside, Sharp said his training and 30 years in law enforcement have given him the knowledge needed to keep the department running efficiently.

The sheriff said he's met most if not all the deputies prior to his appointment when he taught training courses.

Sharp said as for the direction of the department he doesn't want any disruptions with the way it has been run.

"The thing I want them to do is go to work, finish a shift and go home. And that's my main objective, to keep it going like it is and to keep the deputies safe too," the new sheriff added.

Governor Bentley said he will continue to conduct interviews for the position, but should he not appoint anyone else to replace Sharp, the sheriff said he will not run for election.

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