New White County sheriff discusses initial plans

By Rob Moore Reporter
Posted 6:00AM on Saturday 9th January 2021 ( 1 month ago )

CLEVELAND – White County Sheriff Rick Kelley said he is humbled by the trust placed in him by the voters of White County and is looking forward to serving as the county’s top law enforcement officer.

“I’m excited about the upcoming year and the next four years,” Kelley said. “One of the immediate things that we’re going to work on is implementing a K-9 dog on our patrol division. We’re going to implement that pretty quick.”

Kelley said his new command staff is onboard and ready to begin strategic planning.

That command staff includes Chief Deputy Gus Sesam, Capt, Diana Blihovde over the civil/courthouse division, Capt. Jim Couch over the patrol division, Capt. Clay Hammond over investigations, and Capt. Danny Woods over the detention center.

“As quick as they get their feet settled, we’ll progress with our goals for the year,” Kelley said.

Kelley said one goal is for the sheriff’s office to establish a social media presence through a Facebook page within the first six months.

Another one of Kelley’s goals is being delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was wanting to implement a citizen’s law enforcement academy, but we may wait until next year until this virus stuff kind of holds off,” Kelley said. “We’re going to put plans in place to get that in the works."

Kelley replaces Sheriff Neal Walden, who retired after 28 years in the position.

White County Sheriff Rick Kelley accepts his oath of office during a ceremony at the White County Courthouse.
White County Sheriff Rick Kelley, left, swears in Chief Deputy Gus Sesam.
White County Sheriff Rick Kelley, right, is shown with retiring Sheriff Neal Walden following last week's swearing-in ceremony.

© Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.