Turman takes oath as sheriff, prays to remember ‘good men do bad things’

Published 1:01 am Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Presiding Circuit Judge Lex Short administered the oath of office to Sheriff Blake Turman Monday morning.

Short said the county’s first sheriff was sworn in in 1823, and Turman became the 38th person to hold the office.

Turman in turn swore in Todd Grimes as chief deputy and Chris Byrd as chief of patrols for the county department before making brief comments.

“It’s an honor to be elected sheriff of Covington County. It’s a lifelong dream of mine that has become a reality,” Turman said, expressing his thanks to his parents, David and Sheila Turman, and his grandparents, before closing with a prayer.

“God, thank you so much for this community,” he said. “Thank you so much for the people that helped me to get here, and thank for the people that’s gonna help me to do my job. God, please give me the wisdom and the character to be fair, and honest, to all people of Covington County, and to serve and do my job with due diligence, without hesitation.

“Dear Lord, I pray I can do everything for the poor man and the rich man, and everybody in between,” Turman said.  Because they’re all equal in your eyes, they will be equal in my eyes as well.

“And let’s not forget, the reason that we’re all here, and that’s the sacrifice you made and you gave us, bringing us to where we have a way of being forgiven.

“Let us all remember that good men do bad things, and that it’s up to us to keep ‘em as good men, and work with them, and get ‘em back where supposed to be so that they can keep their eyes on you.”

Guests were invited to a reception where the buffet table included traditional Southern reception items and star-shaped badge cookies.

Turman and Grimes met with the entire department Monday afternoon at 3.

On Friday, he announced several hires, in addition to Grimes and Byrd.

Mike Irwin, who currently works as an investigator in the district attorney’s office, will move to the sheriff’s department to manage investigations, Turman said. Others joining him include Beth Johnson of the Florala Police Department; Al McGraw, a canine handler with the Elba Police Department; and Nick Ireland, who currently is a sergeant in the Andalusia Police Department. Retired SBI Capt. Tommy Merritt will work as a part-time employee with investigations.

Turman was elected in July. He replaces Dennis Meeks, who served three terms in the office.