Steve Lawson, former Bradley County Sheriff candidate, will take over the reins Sept. 1.
Current director Mike Hall is leaving the task force and returning to take a position at Life Point Ministries, located in the Florida Keys. Hall was director of the DTF during the past four years.
Lawson lost the bid for sheriff during the Aug. 5 Bradley County elections.
“Mike is working out his notice and will be going to a church in Florida,” 10th Judicial District Attorney General Steve Bebb said Thursday regarding Hall.
“As interim director, I named Steve Lawson. He could become the full-time director upon approval of the board,” said Bebb.
The 10th Judicial District is made up of four counties: Bradley, McMinn, Polk and Monroe.
“It is my job to pick the director but it is the board of director’s job to approve. I think I made the best choice in picking Steve Lawson,” said Bebb.
Lawson said he looks forward to the challenge as leader of the DTF.
“I am pleased that the DA had the confidence in me to direct the DTF. We continue to have problems with methamphetamine and illegal prescription medication abuse as well as many other types of narcotics which are illegal,” said Lawson.
The DTF investigates and performs drug interdiction along highways and the interstate system within the district and is responsible for seizing narcotics before they hit the streets, either in the district or other parts of the country.
“I appreciate the opportunity Sheriff Tim Gobble gave me to return four years ago in law enforcement. As the captain in the Criminal Investigations Division and Drug Enforcement Unit at the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, I met with the detectives I have worked with and informed them of my decision,” said Lawson.
“I told them to be proud of what we accomplished during the past four years and their overall effectiveness in doing their jobs,” he explained.
“This is a new challenge and I’m ready to face it,” said Lawson.
Lawson, will continue to work with Bradley County’s DEU agents regarding investigation and interdiction.
Hall said Cleveland has been his home “off and on for 18 years.”
“Before I was in law enforcement, I was a minister working in Miami, the Cayman Islands and then Cleveland at Mount Olive Ministries working with Pastor Gary Sears,” said Hall.
He moved his family to Cleveland in 1992, one day after Hurricane Andrew struck Florida.
“Although Cleveland has been good to me, my family and I have decided to move back home to pursue my first passion of helping hurting people. My family and I are taking a position at Life Point Ministries. This decision to move has been in the process for several months and after a lot of prayer my family and I feel that it is time to go back to my original home and calling,” explained Hall.
The DTF under his direction has been recognized locally as well as nationally for the services it performs.
“I am proud of all the accomplishments that DTF has (achieved) in my tenure as director. The highlight of my career was when the DTF was able to give each department a $50,000 contribution to help them better equip their agency. Even though I am sad to leave the job and people I love, I am very excited about the adventure that lies ahead,” concluded Hall.
Hall had worked as a reserve agent three years prior to his full-time employment eight years ago.