Catoosa County Sheriff takes office, reveals plans for change - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Catoosa County Sheriff takes office, reveals plans for change

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RINGGOLD, CATOOSA COUNTY, GA (WRCB) - A new year. A new sheriff.

After nearly two decades of serving under retired Sheriff Phil Summers, former Chief Deputy Gary Sisk has taken his spot as top cop.

Until now, the office has kept matters close to the vest.

Sisk hopes to change that.

He's aiming for transparency in the new year.

That's why he sat down with Channel 3 to talk about the future.

With a hand on his father's bible, Gary Sisk took the oath.

But it wasn't until the stroke of midnight he became Catoosa County's top cop.

"This new year was a happy new year and hey, I'm Sheriff," Sisk smiled.

The freshly painted walls of his new office are still drying.

His new business cards are yet to arrive.

It's only day three on the job, but Sheriff Sisk is already putting his plans into action.

"I'm just excited about it, it's an exciting time," he said.

Sisk says a citizen's academy is coming.

Officers will also connect with local students by visiting county schools weekly to mentor at risk youth.

"Those are the ones we're seeing grow up, and those are the ones we are starting to see coming into the judicial system," he said. "So why not try to start influencing them before they start getting into those problems?"

There are about 250 inmates currently in the Catoosa County Jail.

The majority are repeat offenders.

Sisk hopes to cut down on jail stays by offering programs to reform inmates.

Deputy dress code could be changing, and Sisk would like to add a few boots on the ground. He's researching the possibility of creating a reserve force, made up of local retired officers.

They would be used to secure high traffic events.

"Usually when we have those functions we bring extra officers in," he said. "It'd just be good if we didn't have to do that."

Big plans that could cost big dollars, but Sisk is hoping local churches will step in to help.

He has faith they will. After all, it was faith that brought him here.

"I had pretty much just left it to God's will, and if his will be done then so be it," he said, "and that's why I'm sitting here today."

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