Grayson County Sheriff Tom Watt announced changes to his top tier staff Tuesday at a Grayson County Commissioners Court meeting. No one is leaving, but some folks are going to be trading spots.
Watt said the move is intended to make sure that the SO doesn’t suffer the set back it did when long-time employee Cpt. Ricky Wheeler died a few years ago.
Come January 1st, he said, the three captains will change places. Cpt. Sarah Bigham will become the jail administrator. She is currently the administrative captain. Cpt. Brian Ford, who is currently in charge at the jail, will take over in enforcement and Cpt. Harvey Smitherman will move to the administrative position.
“All are doing a great job. This has nothing to do with any sort of punitive action. This is a leaning forward always improving philosophy that I have,” Watt said.
He said the move is designed so that if he or the chief deputy is not available, each of those three captains will have a firm grasp of all aspects of the many departments encompassed by the Sheriff’s Office.
“Back at Sherman PD when I was chief I felt it (moving people around between positions) was a good way to expose people to more parts of the organization by rotating them. The passing of Ricky Wheeler made it crystal clear to me that we needed to do that here (in the SO) as well. That man walked away from the organization (after being diagnosed with cancer) so to speak with two or three or five people’s worth of experience and knowledge. It brought us to our knees for about five or six months and it made it really, really clear to me that we needed to do this rotation,” Watt said.
He added that he had to wait a little bit until everyone mastered the positions they held at the time.
“We just find that to be a good leadership tool and that’s why we’re doing it,” he said.
Commissioners weren’t required to vote on the matter.