Billy Garrett Jr. named interim sheriff of Haywood County

HAYWOOD COUNTY, Tenn —  A big night for Haywood County as commissioners chose between several candidates to fill the position as interim sheriff. The meeting came after the recent death of Sheriff Melvin Bond and the shocking news of Chief Deputy Mike Smother’s resignation.

There’s a new sheriff in town. Haywood County native Billy Garrett Jr., who has more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement, will take on the role and continue to lead the department until the next county election.

A packed county commission meeting, as many wanted to know who would be appointed Haywood County’s new interim sheriff. Commissioners heard from 4 of the 6 candidates vying for the position, but only one was chosen.

“The sheriff’s in charge of the jail which is probably the biggest responsibility of the sheriff,” County Mayor, Franklin Smith said.

With a 12 to 8 vote, Billy Garrett Jr., was appointed interim sheriff. Garrett said it is an honor and privilege to take on the new role. “Feels heavy right now, all the confidence and trust these people have put into me,” Interim Sheriff, Billy Garrett said.

Garrett was sworn in by Mayor Smith moments after the announcement.

“I think he will carry us a step forward, a step up in the sheriff’s department,” Mayor Smith said.

Those employed with the sheriff’s department have had some rough patches this year, including the loss of Sheriff Bond.

“He was a great leader for this community, well respected, great politician and very good at what he did,” Garrett said. “And I have tremendous amount of respect for his legacy.”

Garrett said he plans to build on the foundation Sheriff Bond started, as well as improve morale, and encourage deputies to be the best they can be.

“If you had to sum it up for me I’d say integrity, integrity, integrity,” Garrett said. “It’s all about integrity,”

Garrett will serve as interim sheriff  until August 31, 2018, the end of his term. Garrett also worked for the Memphis Police Department for many years before moving back to Haywood County.