By Patrick Yost editor
Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markley Thursday announced his intention to seek a fifth term in office. Markley, a Republican, was first elected for office in 2001. The 47–year–old has spent all 26 years of his law enforcement career with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. Markley started his career as a jailer for the old Morgan County Detention Center and worked his way up from there to become a deputy and then a detective with the Criminal Investigations Division.
“My entire career has been here in Morgan County. This is where I began it and this is where I will end it.” At the end of this year he will have served as sheriff for 16 years. Markley manages an annual $3.9 million budget and oversees 57 employees through the sheriff’s office which also includes the Morgan County Public Safety Center. After completion the project received recognition and an award from the Georgia Engineering Alliance for repurposing an existing building.
The Public Safety Center was a unique repurposing of industrial space. The $19 million project was completed in 2010 and has received national and international acclaim for an efficient use of industrial space. The public safety center now includes a state–of–the art jail facility, administrative offices, crime labs, emergency dispatch offices and space for the Morgan County Fire Department. Markley said he wanted to continue to serve as sheriff, in part, because he wants to implement further innovations to local law enforcement. “We are constantly evolving,” he said. “We are working to modernize the sheriff’s office to meet the changing world of law enforcement.” “We need to construct an agency that fits the world that we live in.” Markley has served on the National Sheriff’s Association’s Domestic Violence Committee, has completed both the Georgia’s Sheriff’s Academy and the National Sheriff’s Academy and an FBI Law Enforcement Administrator Development class. Markley said through training and education, he is attempting to “continue to grow our partnership with the community.”
“As society has evolved so have our officers and our methods.” Markley said he has been proud of the accomplishments his office has made in the last 16 years but he will continue to strive to “focus on the professionalism and accountability of our officers while I remain at the helm of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.”