Former Chief Deputy appointed to Sheriff

Gov. Kay Ivey selected Rocky Harnen to fill the shoes of retired sheriff Chuck Phillips.
WAFF 48's Savannah Sapp reporting
Published: Apr. 14, 2023 at 5:32 PM CDT
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JACKSON CO., Ala. (WAFF) - Former Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen has been appointed by Governor Ivey as Jackson County’s Sheriff. He is replacing the now retired Chuck Phillips.

Gov. Ivey spent the two weeks evaluating candidates to take over the position, and came to the decision to appoint Harnen late Thursday afternoon.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office shared the news of Harnen’s appointment Friday morning.

“Let me take this opportunity to thank Governor Ivey for having the confidence in me to appoint me to this position. I understand how important this new role will be and am truly humbled and excited to step into the position as your Jackson County Sheriff,” says Harnen in a post for the JCSO Facebook page.

“I can assure the citizens of Jackson County that I will continue to uphold the high standards that this Office requires. Know that I will work tirelessly to protect the citizens of Jackson County and will continue to uphold the Constitution of the State of Alabama and the United States,” Harnen writes.

Sheriff Harnen shares his reaction to the appointment with WAFF.

“I’m certainly humbled, excited, a little nervous, and a little relieved that the decision has finally been made and we can get this office going like it needs to be,” says Harnen.

Though this new appointment is still fresh, Harnen plans to continue to better the department.

“We have some big projects going on, some grants and some system changes that we’re in the middle of right now. So we’ll continue with those,” Harnen says.

He also plans to continue work put in place by former Sheriff Chuck Phillips.

“Listen, Sheriff Phillips did a great job here and the office is wonderful so, we’ll keep it steering in the right direction and try not to change much at all,” says Harnen.

Harnen will be sworn in at 3:30pm on April 14th at the Jackson County Courthouse.

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