FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Two new sheriffs will take office for Lauderdale and Colbert Counties on Tuesday, January 17.

In Lauderdale County, the sheriff-elect is Joe Hamilton. Hamilton has worked for the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office for around 21 years and was endorsed by incumbent sheriff Rick Singleton.

Hamilton told News 19 that he is very pleased with how the department has run over the last several years, and that he feels prepared for the position.

“I started out as a regular patrol deputy, was promoted to sergeant, then a lieutenant, and finally chief deputy,” Hamilton said. “I think all the experience from those other positions has really set me up to succeed.”

In Colbert County, incumbent sheriff Frank Williamson was defeated by Eric Balentine.

Balentine has over 25 years of law enforcement experience. He told News 19 that he plans to make several improvements to the Colbert County Sheriff’s Office, the Colbert County Jail, and community involvement.

“Really what we campaigned on was being more visible, finding our problem areas and being more proactive and saturating those areas,” Balentine said. “We asked the citizens of Colbert County to put their confidence in us to keep them safe and to protect their property. And that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to hit the ground running next Tuesday.”

Both sheriff-elects will be sworn in on Sunday, January 15.