PELL CITY – Billy Murray became the 50th sheriff of St. Clair County Monday in front of a standing-room-only crowd in the large courtroom at the St. Clair County Courthouse. He was sworn in by St. Clair County Probate Judge Mike Bowling.

Murray said he had dreams of being sheriff since he was 8 years old.

“I never wanted to be a movie star or a rock star,” Murray said. “I never wanted to be an astronaut. I always wanted to be a sheriff, and today, I am.”

But Murray said this day was not about him.

“It’s about the men and women you see standing before you who were sworn in before me as our brotherhood in law enforcement,” he said. “These men and women have the most dangerous and stressful duties I know of in any profession. I am honored to stand beside each man and woman in this room today who are in uniform. It’s a hard job. It requires trained, tough men and women. That’s exactly what we have in these men and women. I thank each of them for their service.”

Murray was sworn in by St. Clair County Probate Judge Mike Bowling.

“I am so honored to be standing here today,” Murray said. “Everyone in this room today is very important to me. Thank you for getting us through a brutal campaign. That is never fun.”

Murray said the core principles he has always lived by are honesty, integrity, professionalism, hard work and dedication.

Murray thanked outgoing Sheriff Terry Surles for the foundation he laid the past 20 years.

“I thank him for his leadership and everything he has done for me,” Murray said.

Murray said the best way he can repay everyone for what they have done for him is to work hard every day to earn their respect.

Reach Gary Hanner at ghanner@thestclairtimes.com

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