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Commissioners will appoint interim sheriff from pool of qualified applicants

Columbia County's next acting sheriff will be chosen from a pool of qualified applicants.

Columbia County commissioners met in executive session Monday afternoon to discuss how to proceed with the soon-to-be-vacant sheriff's position, then returned in open session to vote on soliciting letters of interest from applicants.

Qualified applicants can submit letters to the county stating their qualifications in law enforcement, along with their interest in serving as the interim sheriff by 5 p.m. Monday, May 14. Applicants will then be invited to attend the following Wednesday's board of commissioners meeting on May 16 to discuss their qualifications and interest in front of the board.

"We wanted to be as open as possible and allow for people we may not be aware of that have the qualifications or desire to act in this position to have the opportunity to express their interest," Commissioner Margaret Magruder said Monday afternoon following the special meeting.

MagruderMagruder said the May 16 meeting will not be a public hearing, but the public is welcome to attend the meeting and listen to applicants speak.

To qualify for the position, applicants must have four years of law enforcement experience or experience and equivalent education, be at least 21 years old, be certified by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, and have lived in Columbia County for at least a year.

Monday's meeting was a follow-up to a previous executive session meeting last Wednesday, when commissioners met in private to discuss the options for appointing a new sheriff in the wake of an announcement from current Sheriff Jeff Dickerson that he plans to retire early on June 1.

DickersonDickerson has two and a half years left in his term.

The newly appointed sheriff will serve until voters elect a new sheriff in the general election this November.

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