New sheriff in Clarke County is already a familiar face

Alabama News

GROVE HILL, Ala. (WKRG) – There’s a new sheriff in town and his name is DeWayne Smith.

“I’ve always wanted to see somebody in a political position that was not political. When I was asked, I jumped at the opportunity. I have nothing to gain by taking this job. As a matter of fact, I think I took a pay cut to come up here and do this,” Sheriff Smith told WKRG News 5 in an interview Thursday.

Governor Kay Ivey named Sheriff DeWayne Smith as the top cop in Clarke County. He was sworn in this week, filling the void after the former sheriff, Ray Norris, resigned a month ago today. That was back on June 1st. Sheriff Smith might be new to this position, but the McIntosh native is no stranger to Clarke County.

“Prior to the appointment I worked for the City of Jackson as a detective. I was a sergeant for the detective section,” he said.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall opened an investigation into corruption allegations against Sheriff Norris earlier this year. Sheriff Smith says his peers urged him to consider the new role. He tells WKRG News 5 he has a lot of ideas already his first week on the job. One focus is to concentrate on repeat offenders.

“I think that we have some stuff that we can do in the jails so we can rehabilitate them instead of training them to be better criminals,” continued Sheriff Smith.

Smith says he wants to build relationships with people in the community and he wants them to know his door is always open.

“What the public expects out of the police is respect, professionalism and I think it’s not an unfair request on that,” he added.

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