Steve Wilson, a 62-year resident of Walker County, is seeking re-election as sheriff, a seat he has held since January 1, 1997. It will be his seventh term.
Wilson graduated from LaFayette High School in 1975. He began his law enforcement career as a fingerprint examiner in 1976 for the FBI in Washington, D.C., for more than three years.
In 1979, he was employed with the Georgia Department of Corrections for a year. He graduated from the police academy at Floyd Junior College in 1981.
He served more than five years as a patrolman for the LaFayette Police Department until 1986.
In 1986, he was employed with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy sheriff. He was promoted to detective the following year. Wilson also served as an agent and commander of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force for seven years, prior to being elected sheriff.
He is an active member in several organizations: committee member for BEAT (Business and Education Alliance Together) and president of the Al Millard Stocking Full of Love. He also serves as chairman of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force and is on the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes’ board of directors. He serves as a deacon and is a member at Oakwood Baptist Church.
Wilson was president of COAG (Constitutional Officer’s Association of Georgia during 2006/07, president of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association Youth Homes 2012-13 and president of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association 2015/16.
During his six terms, his office has: started an inmate chaplain program; digitally updated the investigative filing system; began the School Resource Officer; began CHAMPS (Choosing Healthy Activities & Methods Promoting Safety); updated the patrol fleet and outfitted patrol vehicles with computers which allow officers to perform many tasks themselves including check warrants, run tags and generate reports from their vehicle; established a north end of the county satellite precinct office in Rossville; contracted with a psychologist to provide on-site mental health assessments and treatment for inmates; implemented courthouse security detail in 2006
The Sheriff’s Office utilizes social media to engage the public’s help in developing information for cases. Many criminal cases have been solved using the Sheriff’s Office social media accounts, Wilson said.
The Sheriff Ralph Jones Law Enforcement Training Center was launched in 2012 and has been used to train hundreds of law enforcement officers over the past eight years, he said.
Wilson was elected to his first two terms as sheriff with 73 percent of the vote and he ran unopposed in 2004. He garnered 82 percent of the vote in 2012 and was elected unopposed in 2016.
He has completed thousands of hours of law enforcement in-service training, he said. Wilson attended North Virginia Community College and graduated in 2008 from the Naval Post Graduate School of the Center for Homeland Defense and Security.
In 2016, Wilson partnered with Rossville area residents to form the Wilson Road Neighborhood Group, an advocacy group formed looking to reduce crime, improve codes enforcement and enhance business development along the Wilson Road corridor.
In 2018, Wilson started a Church-House of Worship safety program where safety/security is taught to church leaders throughout Walker County.
The Sheriff’s Office has embraced technology with the walkerso.com website which allows citizens to track sex offenders and submit anonymous tips, according to Wilson.
“During the next four years, our No. 1 priority will be our continued drug enforcement efforts with the Lookout Mountain Judicial Drug Task Force,” Wilson said. “If we can suppress the drug use and sales in Walker County, all other crimes will reduce themselves.”
Wilson said he supports Gov. Brian Kemp’s efforts to eradicate Georgia and Walker County of gangs. With that, the Sheriff’s Office and Drug Task Force will be prioritizing efforts to arrest and prosecute gang members to the fullest extent of the law, he said.
Wilson has been married to Sandy Wilson for 37 years; he has three adult children and three grandchildren.
His hobbies include genealogy research and watching the Atlanta Braves and Georgia Bulldogs.
Wilson received the 2009 Distinguished Service Award from the Fort Oglethorpe Kiwanis Club, was recognized as the Walker County Citizen of the Year in 2004 and was awarded a Governor’s Public Safety Award in 2002.
Wilson was selected as the Chattanooga Times Free Press Best North Georgian for 2011, 2016, 2019 and 2020.
Voters can contact Wilson at 706-638-4500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.