published Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Tim McDonald challenges Dade County Sheriff Patrick Cannon in primary

Former Dade County Sheriff's Office chief deputy Tim McDonald announced he will run against incumbent Sheriff Patrick Cannon on the Republican ticket.

McDonald, 52, has 17 years of law enforcement experience and recently retired from working six years for GT Distributors, a major law enforcement supplier.

He said his experience working for the supplier in Tennessee has helped prepare him for the job.

"I've had a chance to talk and communicate with all the sheriffs across Tennessee," he said. "I used that opportunity to find out what worked for them."

Some of McDonald's goals are to create a tri-state task force that would meet with neighboring law enforcement personnel in Tennessee and Alabama to help combat some of the county's crime problems, including burglaries and methamphetamine abuse.

McDonald said the task force would mimic one that existed when he still was at the sheriff's office. He said the task force was successful because crime doesn't stop at state lines.

"Many times Marion County's problems were our problems," he said.

McDonald was hired in 1989 as a sheriff's deputy in Dade County and worked his way up to chief deputy for his last four years. After Cannon was elected in 2004, McDonald wasn't rehired at the sheriff's office.

Cannon said the staff members were asked to reapply for their positions, and McDonald wasn't considered.

He later ran against Cannon in 2008 but was defeated in the primary election.

If elected this year, McDonald said, he won't get rid of the current sheriff's office staff. He also wants to stress the importance of an open-door policy with the community.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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