COLUMBIA, Tenn. - There's a new Sheriff in town in Maury County. Bucky Rowland, a former narcotics deputy prevailed after being an underdog in the close race. He'll replace Enoch George, who has served as Sheriff for the last 20 years.
Memories Sheriff George had displayed in his office for decades are now stored in cardboard boxes. A lone picture of his family remains.
“That picture has been hanging there since I moved into this office,” George said. “And when I walk out, that will be the last thing I carry.”
In less than three weeks, he'll pass the baton to Bucky Rowland.
“Bucky got elected and he's one of my boys,” said George, who didn’t back Rowland in the election because of the demands he said it would place on Rowland and his young family. “And now I'm 100 percent behind Bucky.”
For Rowland, leading the department has been his goal since starting his ten year career in law enforcement.
“I guess my whole life or at least since I was two-and-a-half has kind of been co-mingled with the Maury County Jail and Sheriff's Office,” Rowland explained.
In 1977, Rowland's father was incarcerated on what he believed were burglary charges. His mother, grandmother and three uncles were visiting the jail when a fire broke out. All six were among the 42 people who died of smoke inhalation.
Rowland, who was just a toddler, went to live with his aunt.
“She actually got custody of me and raised five kids on her own milking cows. She was a dairy farmer,” Rowland said.
Add to that brothers and cousins who have battled substance abuse and Rowland enters his new role with a unique perspective.
“I don't feel like I went through these things for no reason. I believe I have a story I can affect people in a positive way.”
Now in transition, Enoch George has this advice: “pick the right people to work with you.”
A new era is set to begin in the Maury County Sheriff's Office.