Former DEA agent to run for Washington County Sheriff | news


A retired US Drug Administration Special Agent has announced his application to serve as the Washington County Sheriff.

Michael Templeton said Wednesday that in his search for the Republican nomination for sheriff for the May 3 primary, he would draw on his 25 years of experience fighting drug trafficking and global terrorism.

“Washington Counties want a sheriff they can be proud of,” he said. “You want someone who has served the community and this nation for decades, who is articulated and who stands for our way of life.”

Templeton told the press that he had also filed the necessary papers with the Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission to be considered as a candidate for interim sheriff. POST will submit a list of qualified candidates for Washington County Commissioners on Nov. 22 for consideration when appointing someone to serve the remainder of retired Sheriff Ed Graybeal’s unexpired term.

There is a transition period until voters elect a new sheriff on August 4th, when they go to the polls.

Law enforcement background

Templeton, who retired in July after recently serving as the DEA’s liaison with ISIS special forces in Afghanistan, now lives with his wife on a 20 acre farm in Jonesborough. He grew up in Sullivan County and graduated from East Tennessee State University with a degree in accounting in 1990.

He began his career as a law enforcement officer with the Johnson City Police Department, where he was ranked number 1 out of 80 applicants in 1992. Templeton was also a class leader at the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy.

He spent three years as a patrol officer with the JCPD before being assigned to the 1st Judicial District Drugs Task Force. Templeton was hired as a DEA special agent in 1996 and spent 10 years handling drug cases in Washington County and nine other counties in northeast Tennessee.

He volunteered for the DEA service in Pakistan, where he participated in the war on terrorism from 2010 to 2012. He then moved to a DEA office in South Florida, where a shootout on the Parkland Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School campus became a transformative moment in his career as a police officer.

“I had colleagues with children at this school,” he said. “It was very traumatic for her. I spent the next year talking to school safety experts to reduce the possibility of school shootings. “

He said this process requires identifying students who may be bullied or trapped in family circumstances that make them vulnerable and confused.

“One of my goals as the sheriff is to make sure that all of our county schools are safe, peaceful, and drug-free,” he said. “That doesn’t happen with luck. You have to plan that. “

Combating drug trafficking

If elected sheriff, Templeton said he would set up a drug investigation unit for the Washington County Sheriff’s office. He said the county and the entire Northeast Tennessee region have a drug addiction and abuse problem that can be traced back to Mexican drug cartels.

“Drug dealers don’t know city or county boundaries,” he said. “Drug trafficking takes place on the gravel and streets of Johnson City.”

During his campaign for the sheriff, Templeton said he would wear a camouflaged ball cap with the same Tri-Star Tennessee flag patch he wore on his DEA uniform while serving in Afghanistan. He said it was a reminder that Washington County has a lot to be proud of, including the fact that the designer of the Tennessee flag was a native of Johnson City.

Templeton also said his campaign would “not bring out corrugated cardboard yard signs that just end up in our landfill”. The candidate said he “intends to use less polluting means to communicate with citizens”.


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