Name: Freddie Roden
Family: Married with two children in college
Work experience: 17 years law enforcement experience. Worked for Walker County Sheriff's Office for nearly seven years and has been working for the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office for 11 years.
Freddie Roden, a lifelong Walker County resident and a current Catoosa County Sheriff's Office investigator, has announced he will run for Walker sheriff against incumbent Steve Wilson.
With 17 years of law enforcement experience, the 49-year-old Roden said he feels he is ready to take on the challenges of being sheriff.
He said his main goals are to improve the office's transparency and to create a more proactive approach to tackling burglary and theft problems in the county.
"We should be using our resources at the sheriff's office in a better way," Roden said.
Wilson has been sheriff for 16 years.
Roden, who was hired as a radio operator at the Walker County Sheriff's Office in 1986, said he has worked his way up the ranks. He now works for the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office as a detective sergeant in the criminal division.
For the last three years, Roden said, he's been working on a campaign to run for sheriff, something he's always wanted to do. He will run as a Republican, he said.
If elected, Roden said, he also would like to implement more citizen-involved programs, such as a firearms training program, a litter program and a program for deputies to check on the elderly and disabled in their homes.
"When elected sheriff, I will work to utilize the resources available at the Sheriff Office in a more efficient manner to provide more services to the citizens of Walker County," he wrote in a statement.
Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...