Houston County jail administrator retires after 40 years with sheriff’s office

WARNER ROBINS -- The administrator for the Houston County jail is retiring after nearly 40 years with the sheriff’s office.

Maj. Charles Holt, 60, announced his retirement Monday. He stated in a letter that it was time to move on to the next chapter of his life: retirement.

“It is with mixed emotions of sadness, elation, relief and satisfaction and many more sentiments that I submit this notice,” Holt wrote in his retirement letter to Sheriff Cullen Talton. “Although I will miss my daily involvement and interaction with the job that has been my life for so long, I look forward to many projects my wife, Angie, has planned for me.

“Even though I won’t be at my desk any more, I will always be available to you for anything that you need,” Holt told Talton in the letter.

Holt also thanked Talton for opportunities and support the sheriff has given him over the years.

“And all you have meant to me and my family,” Holt said in the letter.

Holt, who has been the jail administrator for the past 10 years, started with the sheriff’s office as a patrol deputy in October 1973. His retirement is effective Saturday.

“It makes me feel good when any employee stays with me that long,” said Talton, who said he was surprised to receive Holt’s resignation letter. “He’s been a dedicated employee for that many years.”

The sheriff said he expects a successor to Holt to be named within two weeks.

As the jail administrator, Holt’s responsibilities included overseeing 500 inmates, 160 employees and an annual budget of about $12.5 million.

Holt has served in patrol, investigations, warrants and the jail through the years.

“I’ve had pretty much every job there is to do at the sheriff’s office,” Holt said.

He said law enforcement has changed dramatically during that time. The position of deputy was almost a trade job nearly 40 years ago and has evolved into a professional position, Holt said.

He also noted there is now specialization, such as in investigations, bomb and explosives detection and varied drug enforcement operations.

Also, there’s been more computerization and a vast improvement in record-keeping, Holt said. There’s also more computer networking and sharing among agencies, he said.

In addition, there have been great improvements in services offered by the GBI crime labs, and there’s technology available now that was not available before such as DNA analysis. However, the crime labs are backlogged, he said.

Holt said he would encourage those interested in pursuing law enforcement to receive as much education as possible and to also serve in a jail or other correctional facility to give them an edge as a job candidate.

Holt said he’s looking forward to catching up on some reading, including a Mark Twain biography he was given for Christmas last year that he hasn’t had chance to dig into.

Holt said he’s also looking forward to planning some trips with his wife. Both have had very active careers. She’s a retired GBI special agent in charge of the Atlanta office who is now the director of the special investigations division at the Georgia Department of Public Safety. They have been married 22 years.

Holt said he may also visit his son, Charles Holt III, who is stationed in Japan with the U.S. Air Force.

He said he would miss most the people he works with, but he plans to keep in contact with them.

“I’ll miss the people and the daily routine,” Holt said. “That’s going to be a big adjustment -- not having to meet a schedule.”

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.