About the Clayton County Sheriff’s
John W. Griffith was the first sheriff
of Clayton County, and was appointed on the organization of the county and continued in office by the vote of the people at
its first election. Mr. Griffith was one of the first settlers of the county, and as Sheriff took its first census. He served
In 1980 Ronald Rumph was nominated
Sheriff and remained in office until 1985. At that time the Sheriff received a yearly salary of $21,000. It was a requirement
for this sheriff and many before him, that they reside at the jail to maintain control of all inmates, and the upkeep or maintenance
foo the premise.
In late 1985 Verdean L. Dietrich
was appointed Sheriff and remained in office until 2001 when he left office. He did not have to reside in the jail but appointed
a jail administrator and he and his family resided above the jail until the early 1990's. The number of deputies under Verdean
numbered nine, plus Sheriff Dietrich. Their jobs ranged from serving civil papers to covering accidents and domestic fights,
The Clayton County Jail was located
approximately four blocks from the Clayton County Courthouse in a facility constructed in 1870. The original building is a
two story stone masonry structure, which includes the sheriff's residence. The building was renovated in 1979 with the first
floor of the original sheriff's residence converted into administrative spaces and the jail area extensively remodeled. A
new one-story addition for administrative functions was also added to the facility in 1979.
In November of 2005 the citizens of Clayton
County voted on a bond to build a new Law Enforcement Center. In the spring of 2006 a ground breaking ceremony took place
and construction began. The new Law Enforcement Center (LEC) will holds 40 inmates compared to the 8 inmates the jail currently
holds. An open house for the new LEC was held at the end of July 2006. A new LEC was needed because over the last several
years the current jail has failed several inspections due to its age security issues.