Fulton County Sheriff Walter Dillinger is back to work after winning the primary race May 23. Dillinger defeated challenger Terry Dailey 1,149 votes to 397 votes in the Democratic primary.
Dillinger, who started his first term in January 2005, said he plans to stay the course with the direction he has taken the department.
"We're going to work on the drug problem, warrants and help all we can," Dillinger said. Dillinger said the county will be working with the drug task force and get a new drug dog. "We have a young German shepherd pup," he said, adding the dog was donated and needs to be trained.
Dillinger also has plans for the jail.
"If we can start construction, maybe we can get a grant for new construction. That's what our hopes are," Dillinger said. "New taxes are out of the question; the people are taxed enough."
Dillinger said he plans to use money collected from old fines to begin the construction. He said the county cannot rely on grants because there are none availabe. He said he has already discussed the jail with Fulton County Judge Charles Willett.
"Every time we take a prisoner to another county, it costs money for this county," Dillinger said.
Dillinger said the worst thing that has happened during his first term as sheriff is the Stephen Smith case. Smith is accused of killing his best friend, Joshua Mullins, in 2005.
"I guess it's not knowing what happened that is the worst thing. Did he mean to do it or not?" Dillinger said. "He (Smith) has never gave us a problem and his schooling is doing pretty good. I hope they can hurry up and get this behind them."
Dillinger said the strangest happening of his first term was the case of John Cantrell of Salem who he said killed his neighbor's dog with a crossbow and strung it up as a threat to his neighbors.
"He complained about the dog getting in his trash," Dillinger said. "I told him he had the right to kill it if it was coming on his property. But then he told told his neighbors he'd do them the same way."
Dillinger said that is what got Cantrell in trouble, as well as being caught with drugs at a traffic stop.
"We don't want things like that to happen in the county," Dillinger said.
Dillinger said he's happy with his first term. "I've enjoyed it. We've got a lot to learn still," he said. "We've made a lot of progress and we need to make a lot more."
Dillinger faces a challenge from write-in candidate Charles Dabbs of Salem in the fall general election. Dabbs is a former bondsman and author of Object Eve, a fiction novel available at the Fulton County Library.
The deadline for write-in candidates for the general election is Aug. 9. Candidates who sought another county or district office in the May primary are ineligible.