Sheriff names Ledbetter new chief deputy

Sheriff names Ledbetter new chief deputy

John Ledbetter is the new chief deputy for the Jackson County Sheriff's Department. Sheriff Mike Ezell made the appointment official Friday morning.

Jackson County's new sheriff is on a mission to clean-up the department, restore the public's trust and do a better job with keeping citizens safe.

"Things are not just going to miraculously be fixed overnight," Sheriff Ezell said. "You put good sound policy in place and conduct yourself as professionals, and you have to work hard at it."

Ezell now sits in the chair that was once occupied by longtime former Sheriff Mike Byrd before he was convicted of a state and federal crimes. The new sheriff said his goal is to promote honesty, transparency and even an open door policy for citizens.

"I am trying to talk to as many people to calm some of their fears down. With all the things that have gone on in the last few years, the folks need to know this is going to be a safe a secure environment."

Ezell said cases or complaints will no longer just be left on a desk. His team of investigators will work harder to try and solve every crime.

"You don't want folks falling through the cracks. You don't want the mistakes of past with old cases. We want to give everyone as much attention as possible."

Putting more deputies on the street patrolling is also in the plan.

"That is one reason I read these reports is to make sure we have enough manpower in certain places. If we see a hotspot or we see something going on that is a way to pay attention to it."

Ezell would also like to see legislation passed so his deputies could use radar to catch speeders.

"I would be in full support of radar, but in a trained officer's hands, so it can be used appropriately."

The new sheriff also wants his department to improve the strained relationship with the board of supervisors and the local district attorney's office.

"We work for the people and when we don't get along or we are not cooperating with each other, the citizens suffer. We have to correct the old problems and this is a new day and it is time to look ahead."

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