Dream Job

Published 10:51 am Thursday, September 22, 2016

GATESVILLE – When Gates County went shopping for a new sheriff, local government officials did not have search too many “stores.”

They found their man inside the county’s Sheriff’s Office.

Randy Hathaway was officially appointed last week as interim Sheriff of Gates County. The appointed came byway of a unanimous vote cast by the five members of the county’s Board of Commissioners on the heels of the Executive Committee of the Gates County Democratic Party recommending Hathaway for the position.

Hathaway currently serves as Chief Deputy under Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb. The latter announced on Aug. 15 that he was retiring as Sheriff after 18 years on the job. Hathaway will formally be sworn in as interim Sheriff on Sept. 30 and will fill the two remaining years on Webb’s unexpired term.

“This is the job I’ve wanted since day one,” said Hathaway, who joined the Gates County Sheriff’s Office as a rookie deputy on July 12, 1999. “Over the years I’ve been able to learn a lot about law enforcement, especially the administrative side, from Sheriff Webb and (now retired Chief Deputy) Billy Spruill.”

Hathaway added that despite his strong desire to become the county’s top law enforcement officer, he promised Webb he would never run against him in an election.

“That’s a promise I kept,” he noted. “Now that Ed has retired, I will officially run for Sheriff in two years (the 2018 election).”

Hathaway is a native of Gates County and a 1988 graduate of Gates County High School. He then went on towards a career in auto mechanics, earning two degrees from Roanoke-Chowan Community College in that line of work. He was employed as a mechanic in Ahoskie when the lure of law enforcement came his way.

“That was another dream of mine….getting into law enforcement,” Hathaway stated. “That door opened in 1999, right about the same time that Ed became Sheriff here. He contacted me to see if I was interested in joining him. It was something I wanted to do because it’s always been in my heart to serve.”

He graduated from the Basic Law Enforcement Training program at the College of the Albemarle and hit the ground running with the Gates County Sheriff’s Office. Over the years he rose in rank, first as Patrol Sgt. and later as Chief Deputy upon Spruill’s retirement in 2012.

“I’m so happy we were able to promote from within to fill my position and I fully support Randy,” said Webb. “He’ll do a great job. He’s familiar with our department; he’s familiar with the court system, to include the judges; and he knows Gates County and its citizens because he’s been here all his life.”

Webb added that he and Hathaway will use the next few weeks to bring the new Sheriff up to speed on outstanding criminal cases and what’s pending in court.

“I’m looking forward to serving the people of the greatest county in the world….my county, my home; Gates County,” Hathaway concluded.

The interim Sheriff is married to a Gates County native. He and Wanda are the proud parents of two children: a 16-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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