“I was six years old when my dad went to work as a fireman,” said Carroll County Sheriff Terry Langley. “I started to become keenly aware of public safety because of that. My whole life’s been involved in police work, but I also saw my father involved in the community. I saw him take kids to school; I saw him take groceries to people who needed food; I saw him help people. I thought to myself that public safety is where you make the biggest difference.”
Langley, a seasoned Carroll County sheriff of four terms, is running for reelection in May 2016. Langley has served as sheriff for the last 15 years and is planning on using his record and achievements to explain why people should reelect him. He is also highlighting several of his endeavors during his reelection, more specifically what he would like to continue into his next term. Many of his goals concern professionalism in the police department, partnerships with outside organizations and nonprofits, treatment for the mentally ill and educating citizens on drugs and substance abuse.
“Basically, I’m seeking reelection because I want to continue some of the progressive and proactive things that we’ve been doing that we haven’t completed yet,” said Langley. “It’s been a growing process for all of us, and it’s been a growing and maturing process for me. We’ve had great success in a lot of areas.”
One area that Langley is continuing to improve is professionalism among the police department. Under his leadership, Langley has increased training for the officers so that they are more equipped to deal with citizens and their problems. It also gives the officers a fresh motivation after dealing with bad parts of society.
At the same time, Langley has helped increase deputy pay by 8 percent. Although this is not as high as Langley wants, he hopes to continue the pay raise for his officers.
“We’re still behind, and that’s one thing I want to continue to work on, but we’re very pleased that we got them an 8 percent raise,” continued Langley. “Our deputies have been tremendously loyal to Carroll County.”
Another part of Langley’s past as sheriff was his effort to educate school systems and citizens on drugs and substance abuse in Carroll County. In turn, this process has created several partnerships with Carroll County schools and nonprofits geared towards helping substance abuse and treatment, as well as educating people about these problems.
“I want to continue with our drug education and treatment and enforcement initiatives that we have going in the community,” explained Langley. “To deal with the drug problem you have to increase awareness and education, and we’re doing that.”
While Langley hopes to continue these relationships and enlightening citizens, his biggest goal is to do more with the mentally disabled. He is pushing for a mental health court that can treat mentally disabled people instead of leaving them in jail.
Another problem Langley notes is the gang movement from Atlanta to Carrollton. Several shootings and robberies have occurred over the last few years, and the violence rate is only expanding. Langley’s solution is a gang task force designed to include members of the law enforcement and community to try and combat the gang groups.
“Gangs are the biggest problem in Carrollton, and we have a lot of new gang laws that have been coming up,” expressed Langley. “One thing that we’re trying to do is be very proactive on enforcement. If we detect gang signs or gang members, we’re going to be in their face every time they move, particularly those that come down here to visit their friends.”
While Langley is going off his past achievements and future goals, he has decided that he will not campaign much until he sees who his potential opponent is. However, he is adamant that his past law enforcement career, going back to his childhood, is an advantage to him and his reelection.
“I went to work as a police dispatcher in December of 1980 at the Bowdon Police Department, which is where my father worked during the 60s and 70s,” said Langley. “I’ve just about had every scenario that could possibly happen to a sheriff happen to me. I’m seasoned but I ain’t old. I’m not old, and I’m not stale. We want to continue to look at every way to bring the best law enforcement services to the country and the citizens of the county. It is so fulfilling to know you can look and say, ‘I can see it. I can see the results of making a difference.’”