Banking on what he calls a multifaceted law enforcement career, police Detective Kevin Wadley says he feels his experience will serve Bulloch County residents well as the next probate judge.
Following the announcement of current Bulloch County Probate Judge Lee Deloach's plans to retire on Dec. 31, Wadley has announced his intent to run for the office. Qualifying begins March 7 and ends March 11, according to Bulloch County Elections Supervisor Pat Lanier Jones.
Wadley has worked with the Statesboro Police Department for almost 19 years and feels a change in careers will provide a new opportunity to serve Bulloch County citizens.
"I want to move into a different area of service," he said, "a new challenge and chapter in my life."
"If elected to the position of probate judge, I promise to continue to uphold the values of this office by always providing an environment built on trust, honor and integrity by giving the citizens of Bulloch County the highest level of professionalism and service we have come to expect over the years under the direction of incumbent Judge Lee Deloach," he told the Statesboro Herald.
Wadley's career with the SPD includes a six-year assignment, from 2006 to 2012, with the Drug Enforcement Administration in Savannah. During that time, he investigated and worked with the U.S. Attorney's Office to prosecute "several major drug-trafficking cases" within the Southern District of Georgia, "several of which originated in Bulloch County," he said.
The police detective has also been a deputized officer with the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office since 2001. He is familiar with the court scene, as he has prosecuted "hundreds of cases on all levels, from federal court to municipal court," he said.
In 2013, he initiated the partnership for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force between the SPD and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, he said.
"I have worked hard in achieving personal goals within my career, which have given me the professional development needed to give our community the ability to live and grow in a safe and secure environment," he said. "I consider it a privilege to work with members of the Bulloch County Courts system, District Attorney's Office and all other members of our local law enforcement to insure that the citizens of Statesboro and Bulloch County can live and work in a community in which trust is the essential ingredient for a safe and prosperous community."
Wadley is a native of Bulloch County and has lived in the area for more than 41 years. His father, Bruce Wadley, is a retired Bulloch County educator, and his mother, Diane Wadley, is a retired registered nurse. Kevin Wadley and his wife, Amanda, have been married for 15 years and have one son, Landon, 4.
"I consider Statesboro and Bulloch County my home and intend to continue to live and raise my family in this community," he said. "Therefore, it is important to me that I am able to continue to serve Bulloch County and its citizens at the highest level of excellence and to the best of my abilities."
He said that if elected, his goals include "being committed and available to the citizens of Bulloch County by maintaining an open door policy" and "always providing the kind of service that Bulloch County citizens deserve and expect through leadership, compassion and integrity."
Wadley is a member of the Statesboro Kiwanis Club. He graduated from Southeast Bulloch High School, attended Georgia Southern University and obtained a Georgia peace officer certification at Armstrong State University.
He is a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Georgia Narcotics Officers' Association and the Peace Officers' Association of Georgia and has logged more than 1,200 hours of law enforcement continuing education and training.
The general primary election will be held May 24, with runoff elections, if necessary, on April 26, Jones said.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.