A big announcement came late this afternoon from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in the form of a promotion for a veteran of the Sheriff’s Office.

Chief Deputy Jonathan Blackmon announced in a release today that the Sheriff’s Office promoted Rachel Haddix to Major, and placed her in charge of jail administration.

Haddix, a 12-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, comes into the post most recently after a supervisory role as a corporal in the Special Operations Division of the Sheriff’s Office. She’s the first female to hold the role of jail administrator, as well as the first promoted to a command role within the Sheriff’s Office.

“I am excited to take on this new role and hope to be not only a leader but also a mentor to our jail officers,” Major Haddix said. “The jail is where I started my career and I believe its important to ‘remember where you came from.'”

She also said she understands the importance of her achievement.

“I was honestly shocked when I was told I am the first female in a command position. I thought surely another woman had gone before me,” Haddix said. “Being a female in a male-dominated career field isn’t easy by any means. You put up with a lot more than others do. But, I hope other women in our profession don’t let that hold them back. I hope they use it as a focus to get where they want. It can obviously be done.”

Haddix added that she is grateful to Sheriff Johnny Moats because he “has given me this opportunity, just as he has every opportunity in the past.”

Haddix started in the Jail Division and rose to the rank of Sergeant in less than two years. She has also worked in patrol and community relations.

Her work at the Sheriff’s Office includes the creation of the CHAMPS program with the Polk County Board of Education in 2014, and is a CHAMPS instructor for the state’s Sheriff’s Association. She also serves as a Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, or CRASE Instructor as well.

Among her most notable work in recent years is the coordinator for the Polk County Safe Kids Coalition, and her instrumental work in getting car seats in the hands of those in most need of them via grants and donations from organizations and businesses on the local, state and national level. She also further developed the Toys Express program during the holiday season, and served as a mentor for students in the Cedartown Middle School Take Back Polk mentor program.

Since her time with PCSO she has obtained her Senior Deputy Certification, Supervision Certification, and finished her Management training in December 2020.

Haddix earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Jacksonville State University, where she majored in Criminal Justice and minored in law enforcement with a concentration in forensic science.

She was named Polk County Sheriff’s Office Employee of the Year in 2010 ,and Polk County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2014.

“Rachel is highly valued at our Office and community.  She has been a team player since day one and helps with everything our office does,” Blackmon said in the announcement. “We are excited to see her performance as Jail Administrator and honored to have her join myself and Sheriff Johnny Moats in our Administrative Team at Polk County Sheriff’s Office.”

Haddix takes over for Major Al Sharp, who retired after many years of service with the Sheriff’s Office in recent weeks, per Moats.

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