She knows she has large shoes to fill, but with the experienced staff she will be working with, Vickie Towne feels the Bradley County Juvenile Court will make the transition much easier.Towne is …
She knows she has large shoes to fill, but with the experienced staff she will be working with, Vickie Towne feels the Bradley County Juvenile Court will make the transition much easier.
Towne is replacing Terry Gallaher, who retired in October as Juvenile Court director.
Vickie Towne, who was sworn in as the new director for the juvenile courts on Monday, said it would not be the same without Gallaher.
"Terry has worked diligently with many partners and programs to ensure an efficient and effective juvenile court system," she said. "Bradley County has a juvenile court that many across the staff have worked to replicate, and Terry is a great contributor to this.
"Terry has been a mentor and a friend to me and my family," Towne said. "He has been an advocate for juveniles in our community and has instilled those values to me as an employee of Bradley County Juvenile Court."
Towne has worked with the juvenile courts for 14 years, moving from being a Youth Services Officer at Walker Valley High School. Oddly enough, her husband, Doug, recently retired from the Bradley County Sheriff's Office and now teaching law enforcement classes at WVHS.
"I worked with the juvenile division in McMinn County before moving to Bradley County," Towne said. Not only did she work at Walker Valley High School, but also served at what was then Bradley Junior High School (now Ocoee Middle School.'
She eventually moved to the juvenile courts, where she has been ever since.
"We have a great staff that I have worked with, and the thing about them that stands out most is their love for kids," Towne said. "They want to help these children become productive, law-abiding adults and contribute to our community."
Towne said that she sees very little change occurring in the Bradley County Juvenile Courts, and will continue her connection with Juvenile Court Judge Dan Swafford and Magistrate Ashley Gaither.
Swfford said he seen Towne as the perfect person to take the position following Gallaher's retirement.
"I have complete trust and confidence in Vickie as our new Juvenile Director," said Juvenile Court Judge Dan Swafford. "She has the knowledge and experience as a longtime Youth Services Officer to keep our standards high and to maintain the Department's focus on rehabilitating the juveniles and families at risk.
"Her compassion and sound judgment make her perfect for this leadership position," Swafford continued, "and the juvenile department employees and the families in our court system already know and respect her which will make this transition an extremely positive one for the staff and the community we serve."
Towne has been serving in Gallaher's position while he was getting ready for surgery and an upcoming trial for the truck driver who is charged in the death of his son, Brian, in a traffic accident near Ooltewah.
"Terry has gone through a lot over the past few months, but I glad to hear that his surgery went well," Towne said. "I will be calling him for advice when necessary, and I expect him to visit us in the future."
Until then, Towne said the Juvenile Courts system will continue to help kids in various capacities.
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