DOUBLE SPRINGS - A new era has begun for the Winston County Sheriff’s Office, with new faces in the roles of chief deputy, investigator and patrol deputy.
Caleb Snoddy, who has worked as one of the office’s investigators, was officially named chief deputy, replacing Brett Rodgers, who went back to the Addison Police Department, where he worked before coming to the sheriff’s office.
Joining the sheriff’s office as investigator is Matt Roberts, from Haleyville, with Matt Owens from Arley coming on as a patrol deputy.
Snoddy, Roberts and Owens were sworn-in by Winston County Probate Judge Sheila Moore on Thursday, May 20, at the probate office in Double Springs.
“I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Alabama so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully and honestly discharge the duties of the office of which I am about to enter to the best of my ability, so help me God,” was the oath taken by each.
A resident of Double Springs, Snoddy started his law enforcement career in Winston County as a volunteer jailer under Sheriff Rick Harris.
Snoddy worked his way up from part-time to full-time status at the jail before being selected to attend the law enforcement academy, where he graduated in August, 2014.
A few weeks later, Snoddy started at the sheriff’s office as a patrol deputy. After three years, he was promoted to investigator under Sheriff Tommy Moore.
“I ended up falling in love with it,” Snoddy said. “I enjoyed being an investigator for four years.”
Snoddy was recently asked by Sheriff Horace Moore if he would take on the role of chief deputy after Rodgers resigned.
“Chief Deputy Snoddy deserves to be promoted,” Sheriff Moore said. “With his experience in law enforcement, he will bring lots of new ideas to the table.
“I am happy to continue to serve this community and this county in the sheriff’s office in that capacity,” Snoddy pointed out.
His role as chief deputy will be quite different from that of investigator.
Where as an investigator, Snoddy focused on crime, dealing with suspects and working narcotics, now he will be overseer of the patrol deputies, as well as the investigators.
When the sheriff is out of the office, Snoddy will handle the sheriff’s duties, as well, Sheriff Moore added.
“Caleb and I have worked together for around seven years now. We both agree what it takes to have an effective sheriff’s office, and we will make that happen,” Sheriff Moore said.
“There’s a whole lot more (of an) administrative side to it, a whole lot more responsibility altogether,” Snoddy pointed out.
Snoddy is looking forward to working with Roberts and Owens in their respective roles.
“I am happy they are both able to come back to their home county and work,” Snoddy said. “That is something that has always meant a whole lot to me. I have really enjoyed working in my home county.
“I prefer to work with the people I know, to police in my own county and deal with the issues where I live,” Snoddy continued. “I believe doing that makes a difference.”
Owens, a 2005 graduate of Meek High School, is proud to be working in the county and in the area where he went to high school and spent much of his life.
Ironically, Owens has known Snoddy a while, dating back to when Owens ran the computer crime lab in Walker County.
“That’s how I first met Caleb,” said Owens.
Owens started his law enforcement career in Walker County around 2008, at the age of 21.
“I was lucky to be selected by (Walker County Sheriff) John Mark Tirey,” recalled Owens.
A graduate of the Jefferson County Law Enforcement Academy, Owens began as a patrol deputy at Walker County, where he worked the midnight to 8 a.m. shift for many years. After this, Owens was selected as west side investigator, covering Carbon Hill and Nauvoo.
Owens was then moved to a special victims unit as an investigator, where he handled sexual crimes involving adults and children, he continued.
Trained in computer forensics with a national white collar crime unit, he was selected by the Secret Service to attend the National Computer Forensic Institute in Hoover. He became certified as a digital evidence examiner.
“Anything that had to do with computers, cell phones, anything that can store data on some type of drive would come to me, and I would remove the evidence,” Owens said, “whether that evidence contained child pornography or a homicide scene or materials of theft.”
Owens left law enforcement for a while, but missed it.
“I guess it is just in my blood,” said Owens.
After learning from a friend about a job opening in Cullman County, Owens applied and worked there about a year, before he learned of the position open in his home county.
Sheriff Moore believes that Owens will be a tremendous asset to the Winston County Sheriff’s Office.
“He has worked for Walker and Cullman counties an a law enforcement officers and has more ideas on how our adjoining counties operate, which will be good to know,” Sheriff Moore said.
“This is just a great opportunity,” he said. “For years, I second guessed being a police officer in my home county. I was afraid of coming across somebody I knew personally.
“Coming home, I realized I can apply my trade where it’s necessary,” Owens continued. “People need to understand that we as law enforcement officers have a job to do, and to me that job is extremely important.
“Good standing men and women who do this know they are chosen by God to do this line of work,” Owens continued.
“I’m proud to have Matt back in Winston County to serve our citizens,” Sheriff Moore said.
Snoddy has just met Roberts, a 2007 graduate of Haleyville High School, who got into a reserve program at Russellville Police Department, where he worked about six to eight months after high school.
When a patrol opening came in the department, Roberts was sent to the academy and worked in patrol about three years in Russellville before moving to the role of K-9 officer. Roberts also served on the special response team at Russellville.
“As Matt said, you just keep striving to do stuff, keep filling your brain with knowledge,” said Roberts. “Investigation is one of the goals I always wanted to do.”
Roberts left Russellville in 2015, to go to the Town Creek Police Department in Lawrence County, where he worked for about a year, with the goal of eventually ending up at a sheriff’s office.
That ambition led Roberts to be hired at the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office.
“That’s when I started liking law enforcement again,” he said.
Roberts was at Lawrence County when he received the call to come to Winston County as an investigator.
When talking with Sheriff Horace Moore some time ago, Roberts expressed he had never had the experience of working in his home county.
“I was ready to come home,” he said. “In law enforcement, you are away from your family a lot if you are working outside your county, outside your city.”
That conversation with Sheriff Moore turned into a reality for Roberts’ ambitions.
“Matt Roberts is a local resident who has worked in Lawrence County for many years and will also bring more ideas to the sheriff’s office. I feel blessed to be able to hire a deputy and an investigator from Winston County,” Sheriff Moore said. “I am blessed to have both of them on staff.”
Sheriff Moore expressed his thanks to both Rodgers and to Sergeant Josh Silas, who accepted a position with the Bureau of Pardons and Paroles.
“I wish both Sgt. Josh Silas and Chief Deputy Brett Rodgers the best in their next positions. I thank them for their loyalty and respect shown to me and the sheriff’s office,” Sheriff Moore said.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.