HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. — Georgia's longest serving sheriff on record is recovering from an illness according to a statement from his son on Tuesday.
Houston County Sheriff Cullen Talton's son, Neal, confirmed to 13WMAZ that the veteran lawman has been sick.
He says his father had a recent illness and is now in a rehab facility. He thanks folks for their thoughts and prayers.
Sheriff Talton spoke to 13WMAZ in December 2022 where he reflected on his five decades as sheriff.
He was 90-years-old at the time.
Talton discussed managing a staff of of more than 300, including patrol, traffic, investigators, court, and detention officers. He said when he started the sheriff's office had just "28 employees total."
"I tell you what the reason I am here is -- because of my employees. I've got some of the best employees," Talton said.
Those employees have been by his side as the county grew from about 66,000 people to now more than 166,000.
"People ask me every day, 'Are you going to run again?' I say, 'We are going to think about that later,'" Talton said.
He thanked the people of Houston County.
"I just want to say, 'Thank you to the people who elected me, and thank you for keeping me in office as long as you have. I love you. I love Houston County,'" Talton said.
Last year, Sheriff Talton helped guide the community through a tornado that also devastated his family home and farm.
Sheriff Talton first became sheriff on January 1, 1973 according to the Georgia Sheriff's Directory.
Richard Nixon was President at the time.