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Long-time Lauderdale County Sheriff set to retire

“Integrity above all. Any law enforcement job but especially a leadership job you have to have integrity,”
Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 8:53 PM CST
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LAUDERDALE CO., Ala. (WAFF) - In his youth, he wrestled opponents in the ring, as a law enforcement officer, he wrestled with criminals to bring them to justice

Now 45 years later, Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton is throwing his towel in and retiring.

“I started in September of 1972 right here at this courthouse as a reserve deputy. My first full-time job was as a jailer in county jail and a few months later I was promoted to deputy out on the road and that began my law enforcement career in 73′,”

The beginning of his law enforcement journey wasn’t the easiest one.

“Early in my career, with the pay we made I had to work all of the overtime or work two jobs just to get enough to pay the bills. Thank goodness it’s gotten a little better. It still needs some work, but being a work-a-holic, it’s going to be an adjustment for me,” said Singleton.

He started his journey as the Lauderdale County Sheriff 7 years ago.

One thing that he’s most proud of getting higher pay for employees.

“When I came into office in 2015, I literally had deputies selling blood to get enough money to pay their bills and that’s just pathetic. I went to bat for them and we worked with the county commission. We’ve been able to get the correction deputies almost 50 percent, 44 percent I think. Deputy Sheriff’s starting pay has gone up almost 51 percent in the last seven years,” said Singleton.

He said he’s seen really good days and bad days the toughest of those days being the last couple of years.

“Most stressful of my career, most challenging of my career and to be honest with you that’s probably part of the reason I’ve made this decision because I’m just more emotionally drained,” said Singleton.

But through it all, he said he wears his badge with honor and will do so until the very end.

“I am in office until January 2023 and I will work up until the last day,” said Singleton.

And he hopes the next Sheriff in line will do so too.

“Integrity above all. Any law enforcement job but especially a leadership job you have to have integrity,” said Singleton.

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