Commission recognizes Harris, Thompson for years of service

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 16, 2006

An emotional Sheriff Diane Harris thanked the Butler County Commission for recognizing her years of service during a short ceremony held on Monday.

Harris, who was sworn in as the first woman sheriff of Butler County in 1995, was defeated in her bid for a fourth term in office by incoming sheriff Kenny Harden in the June Democratic Primary.

&#8220Gentlemen, I appreciate this,” said Harris, fighting back tears. &#8220I tried my best to serve the citizens of Butler County faithfully. We haven't always seen eye to eye, but we did our best to work together.”

Rep. Charles Newton also attended and delivered a resolution from the Alabama Legislature that recognized Harris' contributions to Butler County as well.

Harris started her law enforcement career as a dispatcher with the Greenville Police Department in 1976. She concluded service with the city in 1993 as a Lieutenant, serving as commander of the 2nd Judicial Task Force.

&#8220Sheriff Harris has my respect and admiration for her years of service to this county,” said Chairman Jesse McWilliams. &#822012 years is a long time to serve as sheriff because you're constantly making decisions that are going to upset people.”

The commission also recognized Robert Thompson, who retired after 48 years with the county's road department.

&#8220It's very rare that you have someone who has served that long in county employment,” said County Engineer Dennis McCall. &#8220We're going to miss Robert. That's something you can't easily replace.”

In other business, the commission:

n Approved the transfer of an off premise only beer license for Crocker Grocery, LLC.

n Approved a contract with Optimal Geomatics for aerial photography utilized by the office of the county tax assessor.

n Approved a contract with Southern Roofing to replace the roof at the county's health department building. Cost for the roof replacement will be $33,000.