Greg Ward is currently at the state sheriff's conference but told WDHN Assignment Manger Stephen Crews by phone that he had decided to retire from the office he has held for the last 20 years. "The timing is just right," said Ward. "It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Geneva County for the last 20 years."
Ward, 55, defeated long-time incumbent Doug Whittle for the job in 1994. Since that time he has faced opposition but won easily each time.
Ward said that he feels comfortable with his decision and that after a break he might one day seek another office. "You never know...time will tell."
Ward has spend almost 35 years in law enforcement. He first was elected as a democrat and for some time was one of just two office holders in Geneva County serving as a democrat. As the political winds shifted in the state to the GOP, so did Ward. Party affiliation never seemed to play a part in the voter's minds as they continued to elect the incumbent.
Ward has been apart of many high profile cases through the years -- most notably the Samson mass shooting on March 10, 2009.
One candidate has already announced they will seek Ward's post. One of Ward's former deputies, David Hall, has announced he will seek the office. Several other candidates are expected to announce as well.