By Harold Bearden
Friday, January 17, 2014 | 4:01 PM
After three years as Sheriff of Winston County Sheriff Rick Harris is making plans to reclaim title of private citizen. Sheriff Harris told HBTV this week that 30 years in the law enforcement profession has proved to be a rewarding career, especially his term as sheriff. Harris began his career in June of 1978 with the Birmingham Police Department and has served in various capacities in the profession. Harris added that the most challenging personally has been his position as sheriff. “There is nothing easy about holding a public office”, Harris said. Harris continued, “the hours are both early and late, the requests are numerous, the demands are seemingly endless, but thankfully the rewards are mingled along the way”. Harris said he found the overall experience as something very worthwhile and looks forward to the coming year in completing his elected term.
When asked about how difficult this decision was he responded, “many hours went into this one Harold. When you have to consider the lives you affect it really weighs heavy on you. Initially my plan was for two terms. I felt that it would take at least that long to complete my goals, but all went better than planned. In three years things in the Winston County Sheriff Office has taken a new direction: overall our people are better trained, better equipped, and more professionally active than ever before. I am very proud of what they have done and the people they serve are also."
About seeking another public office Harris said, “It ain’t gonna happen, there is little peace on the public ladder, especially at the top. I’m in agreement with General William T. “Uncle Billy” Sherman (He was on the other side) on this, “If nominated I will not accept, and if elected I will not serve."
Harris went on to say, “Next year there’ll be a new sheriff in town. Until then I plan to continue on an active course and accomplish even more than in the past three years”. Sheriff Harris closed our interview by saying that his private goal of life has been to be just half the man as his father and in that he has failed miserably, but in the professional and public goals and accomplishments as sheriff he would compare his to those of any sheriff, past or present.
(Next week Sheriff Harris discusses particular accomplishments in his term and reveal some goals of his final year)