Former Dade County sheriff Philip Street running again

Former Dade County sheriff Philip Street running again

April 20th, 2012 by Steve Hardy in News

Philip Street speaks in this file photo.

Philip Street speaks in this file photo.

Photo by Lido Vizzutti


Name: Philip Street

Age: 57

Family: Wife Sherry Lake Street, daughter Jordan, 25, stepson Corey Cresswell, 21

Experience: More than 1,600 hours in law enforcement training; 10 years as Trenton volunteer firefighter; 20 years as Dade County sheriff; five years as general manager of GT Distributors

After being ousted in 2004 after 20 years as Dade County's sheriff, Philip Street has thrown his hat back into the ring.

He could face current sheriff Patrick Cannon, the same man who received 57 percent of the vote in the 2004 Democratic primary to unseat Street.

Street, who has remained a Democrat, is running uncontested, while Cannon will face several candidates in the July 31 Republican primary.

Street highlighted two particular services he provided to Dade County during his tenure, efforts aimed at caring for children and stopping drug traffickers.

In Operation Sandstorm, the department worked with U.S. attorneys' offices in the tri-state area to nab more than 200 smugglers in nine years, Street said.

Though the operation required collaboration among various agencies, "Trenton was made kind of the hub for what was going on," Street explained, noting that the county's location made it ideal for stopping suspects who tried to escape across state lines.

He also dedicated an officer to follow up on victims of child and domestic abuse and began the office's Forgotten Child Fund to raise money for toys at Christmas, he said.

Now, Street sees a new challenge for the department.

"I just want to put the personal relationships back into the sheriff's office," Street said.

He said he gets calls weekly from Dade County residents seeking advice when they have trouble reaching the sheriff.

Dade resident Reese Griffin said he visited the office several years ago when Street was in charge. Griffin heard a man shouting at the sheriff as he left Street's office and decided not to bother him, but Street wouldn't hear it and invited him in.

"He didn't know me from Adam, and he was very responsive," Griffin said, "You need somebody who can listen to people."

"If people came to my office and tried to see me, I saw them," Street asserted.

Since losing the '04 sheriff's bid, Street has held several jobs, including stints as an investigator for the Lookout Mountain Drug Task Force and project manager for debris removal for Dade County government.