A second officer with the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office is seeking election as sheriff.
Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Noel Brown said he plans to qualify for the office in March. Current Bulloch County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jared Akins announced earlier this month he also intends to seek the office.
The sheriff’s seat is up for grabs, since current sheriff Lynn Anderson will retire Dec. 31 after 16 years in office.
“I am what a sheriff is,” Bulloch County Sheriff’s Sgt. Noel Brown told the Statesboro Herald Friday. Anderson “… will be missed, but now we must move forward with the changing times.”
Accessibility and communication are important in the role of being sheriff, and Brown said he plans, if elected, to be a “people’s sheriff.”
The county is changing rapidly and law enforcement must keep up with growth, he said. “Bulloch County has become a destination location for people looking for a friendly small town atmosphere. The population has grown to about 78,000 people in a very short time. The sheriff’s office must constantly grow and update to meet new challenges.”
A sheriff must “protect and serve” citizens and “set the tone to accomplish this,” he said in a release issued Thursday. “All citizens deserve respect and need information concerning their situation.”
Alternatives to jail could include better communication with the public and informing them better, he said. “I believe it is better to inform than incarcerate.
He feels inmates “need to be able to move through the justice system in a timely manner,” and a sheriff he would try to assist the court system with that, he said.
Respect is also a trait becoming a sheriff, Brown said. He feels law enforcement and other civilian employees of law enforcement agencies deserve recognition.
“The men and women who work within the sheriff’s Office also deserve respect, recognition, and reward for the difficulties they face on a daily basis,” he said. If elected, “I will mandate this attitude in the services of the office. As a senior deputy I have made it my personal policy to be accessible. As sheriff I will continue to be accessible.”
Desert Storm, Iraq war veteran
Brown has worked with the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office for 18 years and is currently the senior deputy in charge of civil and warrants with the Courts Service Division. In 2013 he received the first “Deputy of the Year” recognition awarded by his peers.
Before joining the sheriff’s department, Brown worked with the Georgia Southern University Police Department as patrolman and assistant shift supervisor from 1993 to 1998. Previously, the 1988 Portal High School graduate served in the United States Air Force from 1989-1993. During the Gulf War he participated in both Desert Shield and Desert Storm where he volunteered for forward duty. He was awarded “Airman of the Year, Fuel Specialist, in the European Theater”.
The son of Carol and Bill Brown of Portal. The family are members of the Portal United Methodist Church. He has one daughter, Dakota Noelle Brown, 18, and a stepson, Roy Dylan Stone, 22.
“My roots run deep in Bulloch County. I grew up working on our family farm near Portal,” he said. “I experienced the joys and hardships of farming. My parents instilled a sense of stewardship to my community. The seeds of who I am and what I am about were planted there. As I grew these seeds also grew and a commitment to protect and serve became the driving force in my life.”
Military, law enforcement history
His service in the United States Air Force included basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, TX; technical training at Chanute AFB in Illinois and being sent to 1st Duty Station overseas- England and Royal Air Force Alconbury- 3rd Airforce Command 10th Tactical Fighter Wing in support of A10 Thunderbolt II nickname “Tank Killers” used in close air support to ground troops.
He was deployed to Saudi Arabia and volunteered for a forward operating location (FOL) Northern Saudi Arabia near the Iraqi Border in support of A10 Aircraft and US Military and Coalition Forces, both ground and air.
From 1991 to 1993 he served at Little Rock AFB in Jacksonville, Arkansas as the Fuel Control Center’s assistant supervisor and dispatcher.
During his military career Brown received an Airforce Commendation Medal for Leadership and Service during the Gulf War; was named Logistic Fuel Specialist of the year by the Third Air Force Command and United States Air Force in Europe Command, and received a Kuwaiti Liberation Medal.
He also was awarded the Southwest Asia Medal- Three Bronze Stars; two Achievement Medals and Long and Short Tour Ribbon.
Honorably discharged, he returned to Bulloch County to pursue a career in law enforcement.
Brown completed basic mandate training in law enforcement at Armstrong State College and then joined the Georgia Southern University Police Department as patrolman and later, as corporal/assistant shift supervisor.
He began working as a patrol deputy with the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office in 1998, and in 2002, received Field Training Officer Certification, “specialized to help train newly hired deputies,” he said.
In 2006 he was promoted to rank of corporal and assistant shift Supervisor, where he “continued working misdemeanor and felony street level cases. “
Brown was transferred in 2011 to work court services at the Bulloch County Courthouse for magistrate, probate, state and superior courts, and in 2012 was transferred back as a patrol deputy, serving in the Civil and Warrants section of the Courts Services Division.
In 2015 he was promoted to sergeant over that division where he continue to protect and serve today. Brown has completed 1,526 hours of annual training to maintain certification as a police officer as mandated by the state of Georgia.
Civic, other memberships
During his tenure with the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office, Brown assisted Sergeant Kenny Thompson in 2001 in forming the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard, of which he continues to be an active member.
He is also an active member of the Board of Dancing with the Statesboro Stars, a fundraising board that organizes an annual event to raise money for Safe Haven Women’s Shelter; is a member of the American Legion and of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Brown said he hopes, if elected, to “work closely with all personnel in each division of the Bulloch County Sheriff Office; to stay within each division’s respective budget to provide each division with all that’s necessary in order to operate; and to work closely with each member of the Bulloch County Board of Commissioners and County Manager.”
He said he intends to keep “tax payers dollars in mind but not at the expense of training and safety of deputies” when it comes to budget issues. It is important to treat everyone equally, and “to maintain a high standard of professionalism inside the office and beyond,” he said.
Goals within the office, if he is elected, include seeking “better benefits and salary for all deputies and to work on a better selection process for promotion within the sheriff’s office,” he said.
He would also like to see completion of a current proposal to place a deputy inside each school in the county.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.