A local known for his work within county schools and with students has thrown his hat into the ring for sheriff in 2012.
Dan Knowles, current Bartow Schools chief of Campus Police, said in a press release late last night he'll challenge current Bartow County Sheriff Clark Millsap for the job.
"This decision is in no reflection of any personal misgivings toward Sheriff Clark Millsap, as he has been supportive of me as the Chief of Police for the Bartow County Campus Police," Knowles said in the release. "This decision is based totally on the direction I wish to take in my life and career.
"Several things have fallen into place over the last few months which lead me to this decision. As a long-time resident of Bartow County, I feel that I can make progressive and proactive changes to the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office, to better serve the Bartow community."
The Bartow native running on the Republican ticket graduated from Cass High School in 1985 and joined the U.S. Army as a bandsman after an attempt at college.
Later earning a bachelor's degree in Management and associate degree in Criminal Justice, Knowles moved back to Bartow and was the first school resource officer in Floyd County Schools. He also held similar positions at several schools in Cobb County.
As a member of the National Guard, Knowles in January 2008 was deployed to the Middle East in what he calls a "life changing experience." He plays the drums, and cites music as the interest that interfered with his first university studies at Georgia Tech.
The drum he'll beat in the race for sheriff is "Integrity First." Knowles said he'll run "a clean campaign based on policy and practices, as I do respect the sheriff and his position.
"But something in my heart, head, or maybe it’s the Lord speaking to me, is telling me to enter this campaign."
His platform, according to the press release, is as follows:
- Proactive police practices—Implementing a selective enforcement unit as well as implementing other newer approaches to crime deterrence;
- Accident/traffic response—Lessening the load on the Georgia State Patrol and reducing wait time for citizens;
- Tough jail—Legally making Bartow's jail the most uncomfortable and frugal it could be to deter repeat offenders and lessen the costs to taxpayers, including more prisoner work details to support the community;
- Juvenile deterrence program—Implementing a form of programs commonly known as “Scared Straight;” and
- Re-evaluating BCSO structure and practices with an unbiased approach.