ERWIN — For the second time this year Mike Hensley was sworn in as Unicoi County’s sheriff on Friday. But he said this time was a little more special, as it came about due to the vote of the people of Unicoi County.
“I’m honored to be elected, for the people of this county to put their trust and confidence in me,” Hensley said. “I promise that I will serve this county to the very best of my ability. My door is always open to any citizens of this county. All of the crime that is reported in this county will be investigated thoroughly by my department.
“It’s an honor for me. I look forward to serving the people of this county.”
Hensley, along with Unicoi County Assessor of Property Patsy Bennett, the two county officials elected in early August, were sworn into office on Friday afternoon before the crowd that filled the Unicoi County Courthouse courtroom. Several of those in attendance included chiefs of police and sheriffs from surrounding law enforcement agencies.
“As you can today, I have got good relations with several other agencies,” Hensley said following the ceremony.
Hensley said appointed by the Unicoi County Commission in late March to serve as the county’s interim sheriff until the Aug. 2 election. This followed the March 1 resignation of former sheriff Kent Harris, and Hensley will fill Harris’ unexpired term, which expires in 2014.
Following Friday’s ceremony, the sheriff voiced his appreciation of those who supported him during the campaign and praised the work of the officers with the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department.
“We’ve had a black cloud over us for the past two years,” he said. “Now the morale is back up among the officers. I have placed officers where I think they can best do their jobs. We’ve had a lot of narcotics investigations going on, and that is my top priority. The department, I think it’s come a long way since March.”