by Kim Powell
MARTIN COUNTY - Last week, Martin County Sheriff John Woodward turned in his letter of resignation. Because he's an elected official, commissioners held a special meeting on Monday morning to accept it.
The resignation of Sheriff Woodward shocked all of West Texas last week but now it's time for Martin County to move on.
"I move we post it in the newspaper as soon as possible and also in all the places that are visible in the community," Martin County Commissioner, Bobby Holland, said in the special meeting on Monday.
Woodward has been the sheriff of Martin County since 2009 and said his letter to commissioners that he is stepping down to focus on family and his personal life. Whoever his replacement is will be finishing the rest of his term, which ends in 2016.
"We need to try to get a sheriff in place to keep our department running and keep everything going the way we need it to," Martin County Commissioner, Bryan Cox, said.
Without Woodward, there are now just three deputies and four dispatchers in Martin County. With the growing population, it's already putting a strain on the department.
"With the number of calls coming in, not having a sheriff in office, a lot of the administrative stuff such as contracts and stuff have been placed on hold," Chief Deputy, Ernest Wakefield, said.
Commissioners say this is an unusual situation and they are hoping to appoint a new sheriff as soon as possible.
"I haven't visited with anybody personally that is interested or whatever. After today, I'm sure we'll hear from different people that are interested and we'll kind of go from there," Cox said. "Just have to go through them and get the best qualified candidate that we have."