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Sheriff Joey Terrell is a lifelong resident who graduated from Habersham Central High School in 1987. After graduating high school he attended North Georgia Technical College. In 1995 he came to work at Habersham County Sheriff’s Office as a Jailor. Later he attended Mandate School and became a Deputy Sheriff. He rose through the ranks under several administrations and became Patrol Commander.


In July 2008 Sheriff Terrell announced his intention to run for Habersham County Sheriff and won the republican primary and the run-off in August of 2008. He graduated from the Georgia Sheriff’s Academy in November 2008. Sheriff Terrell was re-elected as Sheriff in 2012, winning the primary without a runoff making Sheriff Terrell the first two-term Sheriff in Habersham in 20 years.


Sheriff Terrell and his wife Darlene have been married for 28 years and have 2 children, a son and a daughter. The Terrell’s are active members of The Torch in Demorest where Terrell serves as an usher and helps with children’s church.


Since taking office Sheriff Terrell has implemented several new programs including one of the most qualified K-9 teams in the State of Georgia. A full time Domestic Violence Investigator was added in 2010 with the help of a state funded grant. The CHAMPS program was implemented by Sheriff Terrell to provide guidance, skill, ability and knowledge in preparation of a successful life to Habersham’s Youth.

The HEAT program was implemented to educate the public and enforce laws related to impaired and aggressive driving and to reduce the number of crashes, fatalities and injuries on our highways.


Sheriff Terrell began the process of becoming State Certified in August of 2011. Habersham County Sheriff’s Office became State Certified in August of 2013. State Certification provides clear and concise written directives and policy to provide direction for everyone in the agency. It reduces liability on the Sheriff through diligent training on policies and mandates accountability as it is audited by the State of Georgia.


Sheriff Terrell was appointed to the Georgia Board of Public Safety in 2013 by the Governor of the State of Georgia. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for North Georgia Technical College’s Criminal Justice Program. He serves on the Board of the Mountain Judicial Circuit NCIS team. Sheriff Terrell is a member of the Georgia Sheriff’s Association as well as the National Sheriff’s Association. He is also a member of International Association of Chiefs of Police. Sheriff Terrell’s vision for the future is based on over 24 years of Sheriff’s Office experience and developing close relationships with Habersham County communities, courts, and law enforcement agencies.