Sarah Fields sworn in as new Panola County sheriff

Filling vacancy left behind by retiring sheriff
Panola Sheriff Sworn In And Memorial
Panola Sheriff Sworn In And Memorial
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 6:45 PM CDT
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CARTHAGE, Texas (KLTV) - Sarah Fields was sworn in Friday morning as the new sheriff of Panola County. And while she is new to this role, she isn’t new to the sheriff’s office or law enforcement.

“We’ve got a great sheriff’s department and I want to keep it great,” Fields said.

Fields started as a dispatcher with the Carthage Police Department in 1988, before coming to the Panola County Sheriff’s Office in 1990.

“I worked up through the ranks and into investigations as a lieutenant and made captain a little less than a year ago. The sheriff then approached me about taking his position of sheriff after retirement,” Fields said.

After taking some time to think and pray about it, Fields agreed to become the county’s 2nd female sheriff.

“I will tell you the ability doesn’t have anything to do with the gender,” said former sheriff Jack Ellet. “Ability has to do with ability. It’s not like it was in the old days when the sheriff has to go out in the mud and the blood and the beer and drag em’ in. It’s more of a management position and people thing. And I think she’ll do quite while.”

That confidence in Fields is shared by the newly retired sheriff, Kevin Lake.

“Beautiful weather, a beautiful day, and a beautiful exchange of the badge. And I couldn’t think of a better person. Matter of fact I’ve thought long and hard, and prayed long and hard, and Sarah is the person to take the role.”

(Left to right) Newly retired sheriff Kevin Lake, current sheriff Sarah Fields, former sheriff...
(Left to right) Newly retired sheriff Kevin Lake, current sheriff Sarah Fields, former sheriff Jack Ellet.(Blake Holland/KLTV)

“I just want to keep our sheriff’s department like it is,” Fields said. “We’re a family of dedicated individuals. Everyone that works there is very professional and that’s what I want to keep going.”

Fields will fill the vacancy until a special midterm election can be held in about two years.

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