Panola County selects interim Sheriff - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Panola County selects interim Sheriff

By Chip Washington - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

BATESVILLE, MS (WMC-TV) - An interim leader has been selected for the Panola County Sheriff's Department to take the place of the county's late Sheriff.

Otis Griffin, Jr. has been in law enforcement for over 15 years, working his way up the ranks to become the Chief Deputy of the Panola County Sheriff's Department.  Tuesday, Griffin said he never thought he would become Sheriff under tragic circumstances.

"I think about him a lot and miss him, because we were almost like brothers," he said.

Griffin was referring to Hugh 'Shot' Bright, the late Panola County Sheriff, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on September 27.  Bright was elected to his first full term as Sheriff in 2007.  Monday, Griffin was voted in by the Panola County Board of Supervisors as interim Sheriff until the next regular election, scheduled for 2011.

Panola County resident Clarence Rudd has known Griffin for many years.

"They was doing a tremendous job before this tragedy happened to the sheriff, and I want to see them do it like before it happened," Rudd said. "Otis is the man to take care of it. I know he is."

Griffin says he has a good group of employees working with him, and said the citizens of Panola County are his priority.

"We're going to continue to protect and serve," he said. "I want to fix it so when you go to sleep at night, you can go to sleep and you can rest, and wake up knowing that everything is okay."

Griffin has not decided if he will run for Sheriff in 2011.

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