DeKalb Chief Deputy to Run for Sheriff

Chief Deputy Michael Edmondson, his wife, Jodie, and their children, Paisley (foreground), Jeremiah and Alexis.

DeKalb County (Ala.) Chief Deputy Michael Edmondson has announced that he will seek election as Sheriff of DeKalb County. Edmondson has worked for the DeKalb Sheriff’s Department since 2000 and has served as chief deputy under current Sheriff Jimmy Harris since January 2009.

Harris earlier this month announced he will not seek reelection.

“For over 17 years with the Sheriff’s Office, I have been committed to serving and protecting the citizens of DeKalb County,” said Chief Edmonson. “Done right, the duties of sheriff require being on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and ably directing and managing an office with over 100 employees, a federally -pproved state-of-the art detention facility, seasoned deputies patrolling all 779 square miles of DeKalb County, and excellent investigative officers bringing criminals before the courts.

“It requires seamlessly coordinating with multi-jurisdictional and multi-agencies, like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Alabama Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other Sheriff's offices and Police Departments.

“It also requires developing and promoting programs throughout DeKalb County to halt the scourge of drugs and addiction, to educate the public on best safety and security practices, and to utilize worthy inmates in public service.

“Financially, it requires balancing multi-million dollar budgets, seeking and obtaining federal and state law enforcement grants, and negotiating and contracting with federal law enforcement agencies to house federal inmates.”

Edmondson says he has the experience, know-how and training to serve as sheriff. As chief deputy, Edmondson is charged with overseeing all facets of the Sheriff’s Office: patrol, investigation, the DARE school anti-drug program, clerical and incarceration. He handles the day-to-day operations of the largest public organization in the county outside of public education. He meets with representatives of the DeKalb County Commission and assists with formulating the $7 million budget for the Sheriff Office. He writes the applications for federal and state law enforcement grants and negotiates with federal agencies to house federal inmates and detainees.

With members of the Sheriff’s Office, Edmondson assists with conducting the Citizens Academy, Yellow Dot, gun safety and Eddie Eagle, Project Life Saver, Community Watch, Run-Hide-Fight, R.U.-O.K. programs and supports the DeKalb DARE program, which is the biggest in the state.

Edmondson says his ambition has always been to excel in law enforcement. Upon graduating from Crossville High School, he attended Gadsden State Community College, where he received an associate's degree in criminal justice. In 2000, then-Sheriff Cecil Reed hired Edmondson as a corrections officer. Receiving a certificate in jail management, Edmondson rose quickly through the ranks. The next year, he was promoted to deputy sheriff and graduated from the Northeast Alabama Police Academy.

Three years later, Sheriff Reed promoted Edmondson to sergeant. In two years, Edmondson was promoted by Sheriff Jimmy Harris to captain and two years later to chief deputy.

In 2014, Edmondson also became commander of the DeKalb County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force. As such, he is responsible for the agents and assists them in coordinating investigations and raids with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Alabama Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, Immigration and Naturalization Service and other sheriff's offices and police departments.

Edmondson was awarded the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award by the Optimist Club in 2014. In 2015, he was named one of the “40 under 40” honorees for his leadership, service and commitment to the progress of DeKalb County. This year, he was voted Best Deputy in the Times-Journal’s Best of DeKalb.

Chief Edmondson and his wife, Jody, have three children: Paisley, Jeremiah and Alexis. In 2015, with the blessing of their first child, Paisley, Michael and Jody were licensed as foster parents with the Department of Human Resources after completing 30 hours of classes, including behavior management and identifying the strengths and needs of children. It was through foster parenting that they adopted their children Jeremiah and Alexis.

The Edmondson are members of Macedonia #2 Church where Chief Edmondson teaches Sunday school.

Chief Edmondson is a board member of the DeKalb County Patriots Park, the United Givers Fund of DeKalb County, the Bread of Life Ministries and the Northeast Community College Criminal Justice Advisory Board. He is a past board member of Leadership of DeKalb and Kilpatrick Volunteer Fire Department. He is a member of the DeKalb Foster and Adoptive Parent Association, the Alabama Foster and Adoptive Parent Association, the Optimist Club, the Fort Payne Fraternal Order of Police Lodge, the Geraldine Masonic Lodge and the Cahaba Shrine Club.

Chief Edmondson actively volunteers for Relay for Life, Race to Embrace, Jail and Bail and other charities.

As chief deputy, Edmondson has been instrumental in establishing the DeKalb County Neighborhood Watch program at the Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Edmondson stressed, “The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office has the best deputies, officers and employees in the state of Alabama. I am proud to serve with them. I look forward to serving with them and serving DeKalb County for many years to come.”

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