This Jan. 15, 2014 photo shows Houston County Sheriff Cullen...

This Jan. 15, 2014 photo shows Houston County Sheriff Cullen Talton talking about his years as sheriff. The 91-year-old Talton said Tuesday, September 19, 2023, that after more than 50 years as the county's chief lawman, he won't seek another term as sheriff in the 2024 election. Credit: AP/Jason Vorhees

PERRY, Ga. — A 91-year-old Georgia sheriff has said he will hand in his badge after more than 50 years as the county's chief lawman.

Houston County Sheriff Cullen Talton tells WMAZ-TV that he won't seek reelection in 2024 and will step down at the end of his term.

“It’s time for me to hang it up, so I won’t run again,” Talton said.

Houston County commissioners called Talton the longest-serving sheriff not only in Georgia, but in the United States, when they honored him Tuesday.

Talton — a former dairy farmer who had served as county commissioner in the middle Georgia county — was elected sheriff in 1972. At the time, the county's population was about 63,000 people. It now has nearly 170,000.

The sheriff said he still likes his job. “I enjoy what I'm doing. I enjoy people,” he said.

Among those who attended the ceremony honoring Talton were two of his great-grandchildren, including 12-year-old Ellie Talton, who described the sheriff as “the peacekeeper of the family.”

Latest videos

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME