Law enforcement vets square off in Thomas Co. - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Law enforcement vets square off in Thomas Co.

Sheriff Carlton Powell Sheriff Carlton Powell
THOMAS CO., GA (WALB) -

One of the longest serving sheriffs in Georgia is running for re-election.

But his challenger is no rookie to law enforcement.

Dale Mattila is challenging incumbent Sheriff Carlton Powell in Thomas County.

Thomas County residents who just became old enough to vote, were not even born when Carlton Powell was already halfway through his tenure as sheriff.

"Well I'm finishing up my 36th year as sheriff. I've been very fortunate here to live and work here in this county. I love this county and it's a great place to be a sheriff," said Powell.

But while Powell's challenger Dale Mattila has never served in Georgia, he does have more than 30 years of law enforcement experience.

"I worked in Miami-Dade County. One of the most violent counties in America. I've seen a lot of things on my days on the job," said Mattila.

Mattila says it was his new Thomas County neighbors who encouraged him to take the plunge. "When I retired here in '09, I met a lot of people. Building this house, met a lot of other law enforcement people that I introduced myself to. I kept hearing the same question, have you ever thought about running for sheriff."

Powell says sheriffs are always forced to make those tough decisions whether the economy is weak or strong. "If you ask me which I'd rather, I'd rather serve in good times when there is more money available. I think the test of all us is how do we handle the tough times when there is not as much money available and you have to make tough decisions."

Both Powell and Mattila say regardless of who you are voting for, it's just important for everyone to get out and vote.

 

Copyright 2012 WALB. All rights reserved.

 

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