Do you know your candidate for Sheriff?

Published 3:34 pm Monday, June 13, 2022

With the sheriff run-off election just over three weeks away, it is imperative that voters have all the facts to make an educated decision. After all, the sheriff elected will be for a four-year term. In the next three weeks, we will bring you facts and information on each candidate. In this article, the focus will be experience, who has it and where did they get it.

Sheriff Terry Mears is seeking re-election. He has been Crenshaw County’s Sheriff for the past four-year term.

Mears started out of high school when he joined the U.S. Navy in 1980. He served in the military for 24 years and three months and earned the rank of Chief Petty Officer. Mears earned several accommodations including the Defense Meritorious Service medal, six Navy Achievement metals, five Navy Accommodation metals, Surface Warfare pin, Aviation Warfare pin, and Seabees pin. When he left the military, law enforcement was his next step.

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Mears started out as a jailer in 2005 in Covington County. He transitioned to Opp Police Department the following year and attended the police academy in Selma. He remained with the Opp Police Department for two years.

Mears then took a position in Florala where he worked for nine months. When a position came open in Dozier as police chief, Mears went for it. (Elcapitalino) He served of police chief in Dozier for four and a half years.

Mears then moved to the Brantley Police Department where he worked for two and a half years and Luverne Police Department where he worked for three years.

Mears was elected sheriff in November of 2018, taking office in November on 2019.

Joshua Wasden began his career at the Eufaula Police Department in 2010 where he was on the K-9 patrol and SWAT Team. He served in Eufaula until 2012, when a position opened up at Troy which would allow him to be closer to home.

He worked at the Troy Police Department for three years as K-9 patrol under special operations and narcotics detection dog handler. Wasden received special training to work as a k-9 officer and has approximately 480-500 hours certified K-9 training hours.

Wasden left the Troy Police Department in 2015 and went to work for the Dale County Sheriff’s Office’s violent crime and narcotics division. He was assigned to ALEA’s Drug Task Force while employed there. He attended the FBI-LEDA executive Command Leadership Course and was assistant team leader for the SWAT Team.

In 2019, Wasden moved to the Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Office where he stayed for approximately seven months before going to the Troopers Academy also in 2019. He was assigned to Butler and Covington Counties and performed on the Honor Guard Team while with the Troopers.

In 2021, Wasden moved to work for NSide, a school safety platform. Wasden feels his experience with NSide will help him, combined with his law enforcement experience, to be an effective Sheriff for Crenshaw County.

“I want to use my knowledge and experience to keep our schools safe,” Wasden said.

Mears said he has worked for every law enforcement agency in the county and knows the people.

“I have dealt with all spectrums of people because I have worked in every municipality in this county, knowing the people, dealing with their problems. The people have been an asset to me since I became Sheriff. We deal with crazy everyday but the public has helped me and my staff. I consider them a true partner in law enforcement. Nobody knows a place better than the people who live there,” Mears said.