Washington and Gulf Counties Have Two New Top Cops

Washington County swore in its new sheriff Tuesday in front of a large crowd at the Agricultural Center in Chipley.

You can now call him Sheriff Haddock. Bobby Haddock took the oath of Sheriff and he was sworn in by County Judge Colby Peel. The judge, by the way, is the son of Fred Peel, longtime Washington County Sheriff who was defeated in last fall’s elections by Haddock.

Sheriff Haddock brings over 20 years of law enforcement experience to the department and as he addressed the large audience he encouraged the citizens to appreciate the men and women that work for the sheriff's office.

He also made it known that he already has few issues to address with the department, and one of them includes payroll. "We have some issues there as far as pay scale and those kind of things to upgrade these guys. They're doing a tremendous job for the people of Washington County and it's hard to bring people to work for our wages. That's one of my main issues. My second issue would be the drug problem we have in Washington County."

Prior to being elected Sheriff, Bobby Haddock worked as an investigator for the State Attorney's office.

Meanwhile, Gulf County also welcomed a new sheriff Tuesday.

Dalton Upchurch took the oath of office in Port St. Joe while friends, family and a contingent of state troopers looked-on.

Upchurch is a career law enforcement officer, serving 23-years as an investigator in the Florida Highway Patrol.

He spent 15-of those years assigned to Gulf County.

Though he's just starting the job, he's already hard at work.

"We've already implemented some changes. They'll notice there's an increase in the amount of people on patrol. They'll notice that the S-R-O program and the DARE program are going to be increased. They're going to notice that they'll be more active. More or less the whole department's going to be more active. This is an upgrade. It's time to step up."

Gulf County is Sheriff Upchurch's adopted home, and he says he plans to stay in the area, even when he's no longer sheriff.