Tifton Gazette

Local News

January 7, 2006

New jail chief: ‘My calling is right here’

TIFTON — Tift County’s new jail administrator brings years of experience and a little muscle to the county corrections facility.

Capt. Jerry Lipsey started Tuesday as the new administrator of the Tift County jail at the Tift County Law Enforcement Center. He brings with him 13 years of experience in detention and corrections and 18 years of law enforcement experience overall.

Lipsey, 44, took the place of Lt. Bryan Giddens, who now serves as one of two chief deputies of detention.

A resident of Nashville, Lipsey may be remembered by some as the former chief of police there from 2001 to 2003. He is also the former chief of security for the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office. He served with the Georgia Department of Corrections for nine years at Valdosta State Prison. Born and raised in Cook County, he began his law enforcement career with the Adel Police Department.

Lipsey also served in the U.S. Army for six years, leaving shortly before Operation Desert Storm. When the Middle Eastern conflict began, he tried to re-enlist, but the Army opted for new recruits.

“I was kind of disappointed a little bit,” he said. “I really wanted to go.”

But Lipsey found his calling in law enforcement.

“I guess my calling is this right here, in detention and correction,” he said. “It’s just a different aspect of the law enforcement side. You get the opportunity to reach somebody, to make a difference.”

He said he gained experience as a jail administrator from his time with Lowndes County. He said officials with the Tift County Sheriff’s Office, which oversees the jail, knew of his experience and asked him to start running the facility.

Lipsey should not expect much trouble from inmates. An avid weight trainer, his imposing form proves that he is more than just a paper pusher and will likely help keep inmates in line.

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