Seven-term Anson County Sheriff Tommy Allen announced Monday evening that he will retire at the end of this current term, which ends December 2014.
Allen spoke to his staff late Monday afternoon regarding his decision.
Allen was first elected sheriff in 1978, the youngest sheriff in the state. He served four terms to 1994. Allen stayed out of law enforcement for eight years. He then ran for sheriff in 2002 and won, and has been re-elected twice since then.
Allen said that up until the past couple of weeks he felt he would run one more time but several opportunities have come up and he said he felt he should take advantage of them. Allen would not elaborate as to what those opportunities were other that so say he wanted to have more time to do a few other things while he was still young and healthy. Allen will be 65 years old at the end of this term.
“It would not be fair to the citizens of this county to run and then only serve a year or so of the next term and then step down,” Allen said. “This way the entire county has the opportunity to elect their sheriff for the next four years. It has been a great privilege to serve as sheriff for 28 years (at the end of this term). I want to personally thank every citizen in this county for the support over these many years. You have stuck with me through both good times some difficult times. I’ve always said that the job is one of the most rewarding jobs. True, when it’s bad it awful but when it’s good it’s great.”
The sheriff said he would hope the next sheriff would come in and not make many changes as he believes he has a great Sheriff’s Office, Jail and 911 Operation and a staff he said was second to none.
Allen’s 28 years as sheriff is the longest in the history of Anson County, and one of the longest in the state of North Carolina.