WAKULLA CO., Fla. -- Sheriff-elect Charlie Creel will begin a history-making change in Wakulla County law enforcement when he is sworn-in as sheriff on Jan. 8. It will be the first real shift in the administration of the Sheriff's Office in 35 years.
Creel was elected on Nov. 6. His predecessor, Sheriff David Harvey spent 35 years in office. After that, Interim Sheriff Donnie Crum filled the gap for 15 months before retiring from law enforcement.
During his campaign, Sheriff-elect Creel emphasized the need to address the county’s drug problem and initiate programs addressing the needs of children and teenagers.
“Nothing is going to stop us from tackling the issues that threaten the futures of our children,” Creel said.
Creel says that he isn't the only one ready to get to work.
“We face tough problems in our county, but people have made it clear to me that they are willing to work together to reduce crime and make Wakulla County an even better place to call home,” Creel said.
Jim Lee, Creel’s longtime friend, will speak at the swearing in ceremony. Lee began his career as a trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol with Creel in 1974 in Tampa, and retired in 2007 as a bureau chief.
“It is very fulfilling when a friend as sincere and dedicated as Charlie achieves this type of success,” Lee said. “I know by observing Charlie during his entire law-enforcement career and campaigns that he did not choose to seek the office of Sheriff for his own benefit. His desire is to see the citizens of Wakulla County receive the most professional, fair and effective law enforcement service available.”
Wakulla County Judge Jill Walker will administer the oath of office in the main courtroom of the Wakulla County Courthouse at 4 p.m.
The Rev. Keith Wallace of Lake Ellen Baptist Church will deliver the invocation, and the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard will present the colors and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Following the ceremony, the public is invited to a reception at Wakulla County’s Extension Office, 84 Cedar Ave., Crawfordville, Fla.