The hotly contested race between the two men has seen a large amount of political signs dotting the landscape and some heated debates during the campaign season.
Both men point to their experience and education as reasons they should be elected to the position.
Garrison, 51, cites his 30 years in law enforcement, including his record of 20 years as sheriff of Cherokee County, as the reason to keep him on the job
Garrison says his education, including a master’s in public administration from Columbus State University, a bachelor’s from Reinhardt University, as well as being a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., the National Sheriff’s Institute, and the Regional Leadership Institute are reasons he should continue to serve as sheriff.
Waters, who works for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office as commander of animal control, alcohol enforcement and alarm enforcement units, also points to his background as reason why he should be the next sheriff of Cherokee
Previous to working in Forsyth County, Waters worked for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.
Waters is a graduate of Cherokee High School, attended Lanier Technical College and graduated from the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville.
When asked what he sees as one of the biggest problems facing Cherokee County, Garrison pointed to fraud-related crimes.
“Fraud related crimes, such as identity theft, are the fastest growing crime in the nation, and Cherokee County is no different,” Garrison said. “We have seen these crimes rise at an unprecedented pace. I will continue to work closely with all of our city police departments and am excited by the proposition of working closely with the district attorney’s office in developing an Identity Fraud Task Force to combat this growing trend. We will work together to develop shared strategies aimed at reducing the victimization of Cherokee County citizens.”
Waters says he plans to reorganize the sheriff’s office staff, citing that as a major issue.
“As your elected sheriff, I will focus on the ratio between supervisors and deputies,” Waters said. “Currently, the ratio is 1.2 deputies per supervisor. Re-organization will be the first step in solving this problem. Re-organizing the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office will enable this agency to be more efficient and effective pertaining to services provided to our citizens,” Waters said.
When asked about ways to improve services as the county continues to grow, Garrison said working closely with the cities is a key.
“I am excited about the synergy that is brought to us collectively by the chiefs of police of Canton, Holly Springs and Woodstock. Each of these police chiefs has 30 years of progressive law enforcement experience from agencies outside Cherokee County, and with that experience comes new ideas,” Garrison said. “The opportunity exists to leverage these ideas making Cherokee County a public safety model for the nation. I will work closely with each of the cities to develop a collaborative effort in countywide public safety in areas such as criminal investigations, traffic enforcement and traffic time management.”
Waters said serving the communities will be a key for him.
“As your elected sheriff services to our communities and our citizens will always be a top priority with my administration regardless of the financial situation the county is experiencing,” Waters said. “My administration will be a working staff from the level of sheriff to our road deputies assuring professional services will always be provided as promised to our citizens.”