Editor's note: This article's headline has been updated to correct a typo.
The Grayson County Sheriff's Office celebrated the promotion of 10 employees across multiple departments on Thursday.
Those who received new titles include one dispatcher, four county jailers, two criminal investigators and four administrators. The afternoon ceremony was held in the sheriff's office and welcomed friends and family, who posed for photos and helped to pin new badges on the promoted.
“This is what it's all about for me — to see our organization grow,” Grayson County Sheriff Tom Watt said. “And that exactly what we have here with these promotions. We have taken another step to becoming a much stronger organization.”
Terry Robbs, David Tollison, Sierra Williams and Paula Wood of the Grayson County Jail were all promoted to the rank of corporal.
Robbs joined the GCSO in 2014 as a detention officer and was named the 2016 Detention Officer of the Year. Tollison also joined the sheriff's office as a detention officer in 2014 and graduated from the Texoma Regional Police Academy in 2016. Williams joined the department as a contracted detention officer in 2014 and was hired on permanently one year later. And Wood, the most senior member of the group, began her career with the GCSO in 2011, with no prior law enforcement experience.
Watt said the four promotions of the jailers came with the blessing of the Grayson County commissioners and would relieve the already stretched corrections staff.
“Currently we have a sergeant and corporal supervising 18 jails,” Watt said. “You just can't do that. So adding the corporals to those operations allows the sergeant to get out more, supervise and see what's going on. That's going to be the biggest impact. And though most people will never see that, our inmates will pick up on that.”
Chad Brinlee was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant. Brinlee has more than 21 years of law enforcement experience and has served as a patrol deputy and criminal investigator since joining the GCSO in 2014.
Nikki McDonald was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant as well. McDonald began her career with the sheriff's office in 2001 and has served multiple roles, including detention officer, civil division reserve officer and, most recently, public information officer.
Sarah Bigham was promoted from lieutenant to captain. Bigham has worked for the sheriff's office for 15 years and has served multiple roles related public information, crime prevention, communications and collections.
“All three were promoted because of the great jobs they do,” Watt said.
Guillermo Carrasco and Jordan Clark were both promoted to the rank of criminal investigator. Carrasco previously served as a police officer in Gunter and at Grayson College, before joining the sheriff's office last November. Clark graduated from the Texoma Regional Police Academy in 2004 and is a certified field-training officer with experience in conducting investigations and narcotics interdiction.
Dispatcher Gracie Castaneda was promoted to an assistant supervisor position. She joined the sheriff's office in 2013 and was named Dispatcher of the Year in February by the Texoma Council of Governments.