Q&A with Camden County Sheriff-elect Jim Proctor

JASON LAW: "Do you like Sheriff Tommy Gregory?"

CAMDEN COUNTY SHERIFF-ELECT JIM PROCTOR: "We were friends. We worked alongside each other for 18 years. We're still in close contact. I spoke to him last night as a matter of fact. We're going to meet at some point within the next few days to make sure there's a smooth transition from his administration to mine."

LAW: "What did Gregory say to you?"

PROCTOR: "It was a very short, brief conversation. He congratulated me on the win. We discussed getting together for the transition discussion."

LAW: "Are budget cuts your No. 1 concern?"

PROCTOR: "You've got to be fiscally minded when you step into a position like this. The budget is a major concern. The budget is economy driven. They are our tax dollars that fund this department."

LAW: "What about layoffs? Are you concerned about layoffs as well?"

PROCTOR: "Well, I don't know what I'm walking into. That's part of what Tommy and I are going to sit down and discuss. I have no idea where the budget stands at this point."

LAW: "Could former Sheriff Bill Smith be one of your potential hires?"

PROCTOR: "No. No."

LAW: "No possibility of that?"

PROCTOR: "No, I don't think so. Bill and I have talked and we've been friends for years, our families have been friends for years, we go way back, but I don't think he has a desire to get into it. He and I haven't discussed that."

LAW: "Describe your falling out with Sheriff Gregory? He had planned to fire you in 2008."

PROCTOR: "The actual description he used was he was getting rid of the 'bad apples,' and I was able to survive even though I was set to be terminated. I was stripped of my rank and moved to the courthouse, and I was a bailiff in the court system."

LAW: "Tommy Gregory has said jail overcrowding is a major problem and he wants a new jail."

PROCTOR: "I believe it's a major issue that's got to be looked at, but we've also got to be fiscally responsible to the taxpayers. I'm not sure if we have to have a new jail right now, or if there are things that can be done with existing jail, or if an addition off site or on site, that's something that has to be looked at once I get in there and find out what the budget is. It's going to be a difficult process and difficult decisions."

LAW: "Are you going to clean house and bring in your own people? Are there any bad apples over there in your eye? I mean, do you have that same mentality: It's your department, you want to clean house and bring in your own people?"

PROCTOR: "No. No. Everybody that's over there needs to rest assured that I'm not going in with that mentality. Everything needs to be done professionally and performance-based. If it's not professional or performance, then it's political or personal, and I don't believe in that."