THOMASVILLE — Thomas County Sheriff's Office longtime chief investigator was surprised to learn this week he had been promoted.
Thomas County Sheriff Carlton Powell announced during a Monday staff meeting that Tim Watkins was promoted from lieutenant to captain.
Watkins joined the sheriff's office as a deputy in January 1993, and was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division nine months later.
The 59-year-old Thomas County native retired from the U.S. Army National Guard at the rank of master sergeant after 31 years of service. Watkins served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and was a member of the Guard convoy escort teams.
He is a son of Rachel Watkins and the late Tommie Watkins. Watkins and his wife, Peggy, have a son and a granddaughter.
Powell described Watkins as intelligent, aggressive and knowing how to handle people.
"He also knows how to be a team player. He handles people under him exceptionally well," the sheriff said. "He is always at the forefront for Thomas County and an excellent employee."
Watkins helps investigate cases in other counties and is plain-spoken and business-oriented in his work, said Jamy Steinberg, special agent in charge of the Thomasville regional Georgia Bureau of Investigation office.
Steinberg pointed that Watkins also works cases.
"He is even-keeled in his attitude and demeanor," he added.
Brad Shealy, Southern Judicial Circuit district attorney, said Watkins is an excellent law enforcement officer dedicated to Thomas County residents and strives to work out matters when possible rather than simply arrest someone.
"The Thomas County Sheriff's Office and citizens in the community can only benefit from this promotion," Shealy said.
Watkins, sheriff's office firearms instructor, expressed appreciation to past and present GBI agents and to former sheriff's office command staff that hired and mentored him.
"Nobody gets to where they're at by themselves," he said. "I'm still Tim and get up every morning and go to work."
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820