Jackson County has a new sheriff

On Friday, April 14, 2023, Jackson County District Judge Don Word swore in Jackson County Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen as Jackson County Sheriff. Harnen’s wife, Trish was beside her husband throughout the ceremony.

Former Sheriff Chuck Phillips announced his retirement earlier this year, and that took effect on April 1st. It then fell to Governor Ivey to appoint someone to fill the position left vacated by Phillips.

By state statute, in the event the position of sheriff is left vacant, the county coroner will step in as acting sheriff until such time as the new sheriff is appointed by the governor of the state.
Harnen and others who applied for the position were also interviewed in Montgomery by the governor’s staff.

Sheriff Harnen stated, “Late Thursday afternoon, I received a call from Governor Kay Ivey informing me that I had been appointed. First, let me take this opportunity to thank Gov. Ivey for having the confidence in me to appoint me to this position. I understand how important this new role will be, and I am truly humbled and excited to step into the position as your Jackson County Sheriff.”
Harnen continued, “I can assure the citizens of Jackson County that I will continue to uphold the high standards that this office requires. Know that I will work tirelessly to protect the citizens of Jackson County and will continue to uphold the Constitution of the State of Alabama and the United States.”

Harnen will serve as sheriff until the term, previously occupied by Phillips, expires and comes up for re-election four years from now.

Speaking to his friends, family and co-workers, Harnen stated, “I wanted to keep this small and in-house. Thank you for your support; it means a lot to me.”

Congratulations, Sheriff Harnen.


by Martha Smith

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