“First and foremost, I am running for the office of sheriff because I care about the people of Catoosa County,” Holcomb said. “I firmly believe that we must have a desire to serve others in order to be an effective public official and servant. I have both the desire and commitment to serve the citizens of this county, and I will truly be the peo-ple’s sheriff.”
Holcomb has been a certified police officer for 15 years. He worked with the U.S. military in Iraq from 2005-08 in the U.S. police mission.
“I served on an official police advisory mission for more than two-and-a-half years as part of the Bureau of In-ternational Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs for the U.S. Department of State,” Holcomb said. “I was ap-pointed deputy team chief over the Khadhimiyah District Police headquarters and then to district com-mander/coordinator where I supervised all civilian police officers on my assigned base.”
Holcomb left the mission in 2008 after being injured when the vehicle he was traveling in was hit by a roadside bomb, which resulted in spine, shoulder, and knee surgeries.
“After recovering from the incident, I went back to work as an officer for the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department and have continued to serve the community in that capacity,” Holcomb said.
Holcomb has been married to Deirdre Loggins Holcomb almost 25 years. They have two daughters, Amanda (Holcomb Johnson), 24, and Taylor Holcomb, 19, and one newborn granddaughter, Emma Johnson.
Holcomb’s daughters graduated from the Catoosa County school system. They attended Boynton Elementary School from kindergarten through fifth grade. Amanda then went to Lakeview Middle School and graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. She then attended Dalton State College, where she majored in early child-hood education. Taylor attended Heritage Middle School and graduated from Heritage High School. She is now a freshman at Dalton State College, where she is majoring in education. Deirdre is a Ringgold High School graduate and holds a bachelor of science degree and will finish her master’s degree this fall. She is a former supervisor for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee and is currently employed at Kindred hospital over patient accounts.
Holcomb has deep roots in Catoosa County. His uncle and great-grandfather were both the mayor of Ringgold. His uncle Frank Partin ran the Ringgold Depot until it closed in the 1970s. His late father, Gary Holcomb, retired from Combustion Engineering and was also a part-time police officer for the city of Ringgold and part-time deputy sheriff for the Catoosa County Sheriffs Office under the late sheriff Leroy Brown. Holcomb and his family have lived in the Boynton district for the past 23 years in the same house he bought in 1989.
Education and experience
Holcomb is a 1987 graduate of Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School, He has a bachelor of science degree in management from Covenant College and graduated from the Northwest Georgia Law Enforcement Training Center. He also graduated from the Crucible Training Center in Fredericksburg, Va., which is the training center for the U.S. Departments International Police Missions. Holcomb was one of hundreds of applicants to be chosen for the Iraq International Police Mission in 2005. “That was a big honor,” he said. “I was one of only 76 selected for the promotion, which I believe to be extremely relevant. The promotions were based 100 percent on competence and performance.”
Holcomb is a certified field training officer and is also certified in the areas of high-risk convoy/motorcade op-erations, Islamic militant terrorism, and post blast/bomb response.
“I am also a former small business owner,” he said. “I am the only person in the race to have created jobs in the private sector.”
· Budget: “I pledge to go over every line item of the budget and cut any waste,” Holcomb said. “During my cam-paign eight years ago, I stated that the budget could be cut by $250,000 per year and was told that it could not be done without cutting vital services. The current administration was forced to make cuts exceeding that due to the economy. I want to do a cost benefit analysis on every line item to see what areas are working and what areas need to be cut or altered.”
· Raises: “I think that there is a fundamental problem when the employees don’t get annual raises even when in-flation rises, meanwhile the sheriff is getting overpaid,” he said. “I plan to fix this problem. I think employees need to make a livable wage and be able to spend time with their families and take vacations.”
· I-75: “I want to do my part in eliminating drugs and speeding along I-75 in our county,” he said. “I will start a drug interdiction unit on I-75 in order to eliminate the large amounts of drugs that dealers bring through our county every year. I will pull out of the multi-jurisdiction drug task force so that we can use our resources to stop the ram-pant drug use in our own county. The police presence will also be a visible deterrent for the frequent speeding that occurs along I-75.”
· Citizens forum: “I plan to create a forum to get our citizens more involved and keep them informed,” he said. “I believe that community involvement is the best way to combat the drug and alcohol problem that so many families face in our county.”
· Sex crimes: “I plan to personally lobby the state legislature to change sentencing guidelines on certain sex of-fenders such as child molesters, rapists, and other heinous sex crimes, in order for the offenders to get life sen-tences,” he said. “It is wrong for a person who has committed a sexual offense to be released just so they can com-mit the same type of crime again and destroy more lives. Most sexual offenses have a recidivism rate of 100 percent. My opponents have been in a position to take action on all of these matters and have waited until election season to do so. I will take immediate action if elected.”
· Friendliness: “I plan to put a friendly face on the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office,” he said. “The department will be friendly, professional, and courteous. When a patrol car drives by you, the deputy should wave or at least smile. It needs to be understood that we work for the citizens and that those citizens should be treated with respect and acknowledgement by any police officer or deputy. I have made many friends over the years by simply speaking to someone when I am out in public. I believe that all law enforcement officers should do the same. I am very much a people person, and I hope to impart some of that trait to the rest for the department.”
For more on Jeff Holcomb’s platform and campaign, go online to jeffholcomb.com.