LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office received national attention after a corrections officer helped an inmate escape the Lauderdale County Jail in April. Now, three candidates are hoping to replace current Sheriff Rick Singleton in the upcoming election – and implement some changes at the jail so something like this doesn’t happen again.
The race for Lauderdale County Sheriff has been a hot topic since Vicky White, a Lauderdale County Corrections Officer, facilitated the escape of inmate Casey White.
All three candidates for the office have said they will perform a survey of the jail, including John Randall McCrary, who worked with the Rogersville Police Department and says it will be one of his primary focuses.
“I’ve been preaching the whole campaign that we need to take care of it and fix what’s broken down there,” McCrary said, referring to the jail. “The protocol down there will be a big focus for me.”
Candidate Joe Hamilton has served under current Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton as Lieutenant Deputy and says that the Vicky White and Casey White situation has revealed some glaring issues in the jail.
Still, Hamilton believes the sheriff’s office is prepared to deal with them.
“It’s naive to believe that in law enforcement you’re not going to run across challenging circumstances,” Hamilton said. “And the way that you respond to those circumstances say a lot. And that’s why experience is so important.”
News 19 has also reached out to the final candidate for sheriff, Max Dotson, who has worked with the Sheffield Police Department. Dotson says that the mindset for safety in the jail was sub-par and taken for granted.
He hopes to change that mindset throughout the entire sheriff’s department.
There are also two candidates running for Lauderdale County Coroner after the acting coroner resigned earlier this year.