Sheriff Mitch Ralston was elected in November, 2008 and took Office January 1st, 2009. He is a native of Gordon County from an old and well known family. He attended public schools in Gordon County, and graduated from Calhoun High School.
Sheriff Ralston began his career in public service after high school by joining the Calhoun Fire Department. He transferred from the Fire Department to the Calhoun Police Department in 1989 and obtained his peace officer certification. In 1991 Sheriff Ralston joined the Georgia State Patrol. After completing trooper school, he received a variety of assignments in north Georgia, including the GSP SWAT team, and the elite ‘Nighthawk’ Unit in metro Atlanta. In 2008, Sheriff Ralston retired from the State Patrol and successfully ran for Sheriff of Gordon County, receiving a record number of votes in a sheriff’s election.
Since assuming Office on January 1st, 2009, Sheriff Ralston set about restructuring the Sheriff’s Office, bolstering the patrol, detective, school resource, and counter-drug units, as well as successfully completing the move from the old county jail on Piedmont Street to the new multi-million dollar facility in Resaca, all without budgetary increases. Sheriff Ralston’s priorities have included changing the image of the Sheriff’s Office to that of a professional law enforcement agency, restoring relationships with other local, state, and federal authorities, increasing required training for his staff, and offsetting costs in the new jail by methods such as efficient use of inmate labor, and strict management of overtime expenditures. Several ‘firsts’ for the Sheriff’s Office under Sheriff Ralston include a domestic violence investigation/prevention program, and an Auxiliary Unit. Sheriff Ralston believes in delivering the finest quality law enforcement services to the people of Gordon County at the most efficient cost possible.
Sheriff Ralston is a member of Coosawatee Lodge No. 306 F&AM, and the Yaarab Shriners. He and his family make their church home at Ranger Baptist Church. Sheriff Ralston and his wife Nikki have three school-aged children.