The entire process was open to the public, and it lasted all day. Each of the six candidates went in front of the community panel, explaining why they are the best choice for sheriff.
Each candidate had up to one hour to answer a dozen questions put together by the community panel. Topics ranged from the current health of the department, to best practices for mental health, and implementing and maintaining fair and impartial policing.
They also discussed a lack of presence in rural areas of the county. But the current status and future of the jail was something all candidates thought needed to be addressed.
The three recommendations of Capt. Penland, Capt. Sickler, and former sheriff Winters will be given to Jackson County Commissioners who will make their final decision. While it’s likely they will choose from the panel’s recommendations, they are not obligated to and could vote their conscience.