Bobby Dodd Picks Up Papers To Run For Hamilton County Sheriff; Now Serving As Safety Director For EMC Security

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Just days after finishing his service as Chattanooga's police chief, Bobby Dodd has picked up papers to run for Hamilton County sheriff.

Former Chief Dodd went to the election office to get his petition late Thursday afternoon. He picked up as a Republican in the May primary. 

He said afterward, "This is very preliminary, but I have been humbled by all the people who have urged me to run."

He said he has not made a final decision on running, "but I wanted to go ahead and pick up my papers so that I wouldn't miss any deadlines."

The 49-year-old former chief said, "It would be a true honor to work with the men and women of the sheriff's office. There are a lot of great people there. I would offer my managerial and leadership abilities and would help work to insure that the deputies would get fair treatment and to know that I would have their backs."

He added, "I am excited about the opportunity and we'll see what happens."

He said one person who is reluctant about the race is his wife. "She doesn't want me to keep growing through some of the things I have been through. But in the end she would support me."

The decision would set up a clash with longtime Sheriff Jim Hammond. Former Chief Dodd said the city police and sheriff departments have worked well together, but he said he and Sheriff Hammond did have some personal differences.

He said one area where they disagreed was on fundraising. He said, "I told Sheriff Hammond that i did not feel it was right to be taking funding from some people and not others. Fundraising was not part of my job description at the city." Sheriff Hammond has set up a Sheriff's Foundation to raise funds for law enforcement.

Former Chief Dodd said he took a job as safety director for Emerson Russell's EMC Security firm an hour after he left the city.   

He was in the Army for three years and with the city police department for 26, including a command position for about the last 12 or 13 years. He has a criminal justice degree from UTC and is a graduate of the Southeast Criminal Justice Leadership Academy.

Chris Harvey, of the sheriff's office, is also in the race. He issued this statement: "So many are ready for a new Sheriff. Bobby and I had a good conversation. I have the utmost respect for him. He shared with me some of his thoughts. He hasn't made a final decision but no matter the final outcome I look forward to partnering with Bobby to improve the Sheriff's Office." 

Former Chief Dodd unexpectedly turned in a two-week notice, and almost all of his command staff went out with him. They include Tommy Kennedy, Jeannie Snyder and Kirk Eidson.

One reason he cited was upcoming cuts to the police pension by the Berke administration.


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