Sheriff Wally Olson from Dale County is this week’s Rising Star. We chose Sheriff Olson because is a shining example of what it means to truly be a public servant and a Christian man.
Earlier this year, Sheriff Olson gained national attention for a standoff with a man who had kidnapped a young boy. After several days, the group led by Sheriff Olson successfully rescued the boy and killed his kidnapper. Sheriff Olson was recognized as VOCAL’s Officer of the Year for his efforts in Operation Ethan. Sheriff Olson remained calm and cool during this long stand-off, and in the end, it paid off for young Ethan.
>>>Sheriff Olson lives in Ozark, AL in Dale County with his wife Brandy and two young girls, Emma Claire and Ellie Grace. Olson attended grade and high school in Dale County. In his free time, Sheriff Olson enjoys spending time with his wife and watching their daughters play and grow. He is a strong Christian and believes that his family is God’s gift to him and he is tasked with protecting and loving them.
In 1995, Olson began working for the Sheriff’s Office as Dispatcher in E911 Communications. He moved up the ranks to become a Corrections Officer, Deputy Sheriff and Investigator. He currently serves as the Sheriff of Dale County, a post that he was first elected to in 2007. Olson is an Executive Board member for the Alabama Sheriff’s Association, as well as Chaplain.
Since becoming Sheriff, Olson has worked to improve the Dale County Sheriff’s Office. In addition to computerizing the office, Olson has overseen the placement of surveillance cameras in patrol cars to ensure safety and accountability during traffic stops and other police activities. Sheriff Olson has worked to rejuvenate the Neighborhood Watch program in Dale, as well as restructuring the jail transport division in order to keep more Deputies on the street.
Sheriff Olson isn’t a huge believer in a list of campaign promises, so he made one overarching promise – He would do everything he could to serve Dale County well. Based on the awards that he has received since taking office, it appears that he has kept his promise. Olson is the 2013 recipient of the Paul Harris Fellowship Award through Rotary, the 2013 Victim of Crime Against Leniency Law Enforcement Officer award and Kiwanis Club George Hixson Award. He was also the Class President and 2007 graduate of the National Sheriff’s Institute in Longmont, CO.
Sheriff Olson wanted to leave everyone with the following quote: “Always be thankful for your family and don’t lose focus on helping your neighbor. Do what is right and make a difference everyday. Make your home a better place for your family and friends to live.” Sheriff Olson was sure to thank God and his Deputy Sheriffs who help him keep people safe on a daily basis.