Bibb County Sheriff Jerry Modena is responsible for a $28 million-dollar annual budget and more than 300 employees. He says he's leaving office at the end of 2012 to spend more time with his grandchildren and to travel with his wife.
This past year, the sheriff faced health challenges and was diagnosed with Celiac's disease.
"I had went down from 205 pounds to about a 170," Modena said.
He says one of the low points of his career was in 2006, when Deputy Joe Whitehead was killed in the line of duty.
"It's something that's weighed on me," Sheriff Modena said. "Once a year we have a ceremony and I find that each year, it brings a lot that I would rather not have to dwell on."
Recently, Sheriff Modena says he was angry that Bibb County Commissioners pledged $500,000 for the halls of fame and didn't increase the base pay for deputies.
"They're gonna give $500,000 to a building? You oughtta take care of your people first," he said.
Modena's known as a straight-shooter. He's an advocate of consolidating the sheriff's office and the police department.
"The only people I answer to are the people that put me in office," Sheriff Modena said. "And if we don't have good public safety, then the rest of the class of life is gonna deteriorate."