Candidates for Catoosa County sheriff square-off in debate - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Candidates for Catoosa County sheriff square-off in debate

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CATOOSA COUNTY, GA. (WRCB) – In nearly one week, voters in Catoosa County will head to the polls to elect a new sheriff.

The current sheriff, Phil Summers, is retiring and both Larry Black and Gary Sisk are looking to take his spot.

Monday night, both candidates participated in one last debate.

"I would appreciate your vote," Gary Sisk tells the crowd.

"I want to be your sheriff," says Larry Black.

Both Gary Sisk and Larry Black want to be the next sheriff of Catoosa County.

They will face each other in a run-off next week.

"We were very much impressed with voter turnout in the primary election," Black says. "We got 43.49 percent of the vote."

"I've had a lot of support, a lot of people calling me since the general primary," Sisk says. "I feel l have all the support of the other candidates that were running."

Sisk, a native of Catoosa County, was recently endorsed by Sheriff Phil Summers and touts his dedication to the sheriff's office.

"I'm a 22 year veteran of the sheriff's office," Sisk says. "I'm the chief deputy there now. I started as a detention officer and worked my way up through the ranks."

Black, also from Catoosa County, is running on 35 years of law enforcement experience, serving the last four as commander of the Lookout Mountain Drug Task Force.

"I've worked for city, county and state law enforcement in a number of management, supervisor positions," Black says. "You know, you learn something in law enforcement from each one of those positions."

Black wants to focus on tougher drug enforcement.

"We need more intensified drug enforcement," Black says. "We need to look at the terrible problem with addiction and pain killers, and the doctor shopping. We need to efficiently run the jail, serve the warrants of the county."

Sisk wants to focus on rehabilitation for repeat offenders.

"Getting officers out in the community a lot more and also inmate rehabilitation, that's doing something more," Sisk says. "That's being a proactive sheriff. I see there's a problem with repeat offenders. Eighty percent of the people we deal with are the same people."

Both candidates do agree on one thing: get out and vote!

"Exercise your right to get out and vote," Sisk says. "We need you to get out and vote. We're looking forward to it."

"We'd like for people to take an interest and come out and take time to vote," Black says.

Voters can take advantage of five days of early voting, running up until the run-off election on Tuesday, August 21.

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