Less than a week after retiring as Hall County jail chief of security, Chuck Hewett announced his intentions to run for sheriff of Hall County.
He said he's getting in the race because he's concerned about officer morale and positions he believes are unnecessary.
"The biggest thing I'm going to want to fix is the morale of the officers right now," he said. "Along with that I'm also going to want to condense and consolidate some of the sections in my department because I feel like we can, which will save the taxpayers money."
The 18-year veteran of the sheriff's office began as a jailor before working his way up to chief of security.
In 1995, two years after joining the office, Hewett was assigned to the patrol division and served as a patrolman before being promoted to a field training officer then to sergeant patrol shift and then senior sergeant.
After the new Hall County Jail was completed in 2007, Hewett was assigned the task of supervising the transition from the previous jail.
"What I did is I set up all the positions. I set up all the training and trained everybody — all the new people and all the old people to make the transition to the new jail," he said.
He was eventually named commander of the Special Emergency Reaction Team, responsible for cell extractions, riot control and specialized dorm searches.
Along with his experience in law enforcement, Hewett also served as an officer in the U.S. Army's Transportation Corps.
He graduated in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in physical education from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Hewett was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1996 for rescuing a man from a burning building, as well as the Meritorious Service Medal from the Pendergrass Police Department for responding to an officer killed in the line of duty.
He is the sixth person to emerge as a candidate for sheriff. Other are Jon P. Strickland, formerly of the Gainesville Police Department and the Georgia State Patrol; Col. Jeff Strickland, chief deputy of the Hall County Sheriff's Office; Richard Blevins, former Forsyth County Sheriff's deputy; Chad Cobb, who worked briefly in Hart County law enforcement; and Rickey Tumlin, a 32-year veteran of the Hall County Sheriff's Office.