Patrick Labat was elected to serve as the new Fulton County Sheriff in the 2020 Georgia Primary Runoff elections. Labat beat out incumbent Ted Jackson, who already served three consecutive terms in the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.
“Thank you to the voters of Fulton County,” Labat said in a recent Facebook post. “You have spoken and demanded change, accountability and new leadership for the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and I am truly honored that they have put their faith and trust in me to answer that call.”
This was his second time facing off against Jackson. The two went two-to-two back in 2008, with Jackson emerging as the victor. However, this time Labat pulled ahead of Jackson 58.9 percent to 41.4 percent.
Prior to Jackson, Jacquelyn Barrett held the office as the first Black woman in the United States to be a sheriff. She was voted in back in 1992. Unfortunately, Barrett was suspended by Gov. Sonny Perdue for in 2004 for questionable financial dealings.
Barrett was cited for $2 million in a $7.2 million investment of public money that the county auditor said was illegal
A retired FBI agent, Jackson was appointed interim sheriff until Myron Freeman replaced him.
The 28th person to hold the office, Labat announced that he was making a play for Fulton County Sheriff last year while preparing to retire from 30 years of with the Atlanta Department of Corrections.
Fulton County is the largest county of the 159 counties in the state of Georgia.” “We should be paid as much. We’re asking so much of our women and men, both in and out of uniform,” Labat told The Atlanta Voice last year. “The other thing that we have to make sure is that our women and men have the best equipment and technology. Those are the things that have helped us in the past and I predict in the future will actually allow us to have the best sheriff’s office in the country.”
Traditionally the Sheriff’s Office maintains the jail, carries out orders from the courts, provides support to the community, and enforces federal and state law.
A couple of days before the runoff elections Labat told voters that he’s committed to putting 200 deputies and cars on the streets.
“There’s no reason that we should not have the most successful and well-prepared sheriff’s office in the country,” Labat said. “It does not speak well that crime is where it is. We have to focus on our crime, we have to focus on our community and really present a united front with all 15 cities inside Fulton county. (We) shouldn’t have one city in my opinion that is safer than another.”
Since Labat will not have to go against a Republican in the 2020 General Elections, he is expected to take office in January.