CULLMAN – Following a long campaign, a close primary and a July run-off election decided by a margin of 608 votes, Matt Gentry was relieved Saturday evening as he officially took office as the 30th elected Cullman County Sheriff.
Sheriff Gentry elected to answer some questions just a few days before taking the reigns from former Sheriff Mike Rainey.
CS – How does it feel to be the Sheriff of Cullman County?
SMG – I feel that it is an honor and privilege to have the faith and confidence of the citizens to serve them as their Sheriff. I am also excited about the opportunity to enhance the quality of life for our community.
CS – What is something you’d like the residents to know about yourself, Matt Gentry, which they may not already know?
SMG – I feel honored at the opportunity the citizens have given me. Looking back at the past several years, I see God's hand at work shaping my life to this point. I don't take this opportunity lightly and will strive daily to make our community one we can continue to be proud of.
CS – What types of changes can the public expect immediately, within the first 6 months to a year?
SMG – The first priority will be more accountability for sex offenders within Cullman County. From the onset of my campaign, I felt like sex offenders were not being held accountable. Also the deputies will have a new service oriented mindset. It's my goal to become a Sheriff’s Office for the people.
CS – What is it you’d like the residents of Cullman County to know about your upcoming 4 years as Sheriff?
SMG – That I will be held accountable by the citizens of Cullman County. Any decision I make is to enhance the safety and quality of life for Cullman County. It will be about protection, not politics.
CS – How will your internal staff be comprised? (i.e. Chief Deputy and other important roles) If changes are to be made, when will they be done and who have you selected for those positions?
SMG – I believe that having a strong command staff is important for not only me, but the citizens of Cullman County. I have chosen Brett Holmes to be the Chief Deputy for the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office. Upon evaluation of the current leadership in place, changes will only be made when we need to enhance the quality of service we provide for the citizens of Cullman County.
CS – Will your office operate and cooperate with the public in an open and transparent nature, at least as much as what can be revealed without compromising investigations? If yes or no, please elaborate.
SMG – Yes, as employees of the citizens, our work product should always be transparent unless the information is protected by the integrity of the case.