Columbia County sheriff's Deputy William Hickmon says he loves working with the public and is addicted to courtroom drama. He works at the justice center in Evans.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Most people entering the Evans courthouse are greeted with a warm smile from Columbia County sheriff's Deputy William Hickmon.
It's the smile of a man who says he loves what he does for a living.
"Initially I wanted to come over here before the courthouse was even built," said the 41-year-old deputy, who started with the sheriff's office as a jailer in 1998. "They started talking about putting permanent deputies at the courthouse. I was due for a change anyway. But this is what I wanted to do anyway because I like dealing with the public and am just addicted to what goes on in the courtroom."
Hickmon joined the sheriff's office after retiring from 16 years in the U.S. Army, where he specialized in tactical communications skills and was an instructor at Fort Gordon.
Hickmon lives in Martinez with his wife, Donna, who is the principal's secretary at Stevens Creek Elementary School; his 17-year-old son, William "Willie" Jr.; and daughter, Bella, 12.
After talking with his neighbor, who is a sheriff's office canine officer, Hickmon applied and was hired at the Columbia County Detention Center. Hickmon said the structure of law enforcement fits his detail-oriented style well.
Hickmon moved laterally to jail administration, security management officer and leader of the jail's Special Response Team before heading back to the jail as a sergeant.
Hickmon said he couldn't resist when a bailiff position opened up at the courthouse.
Sheriff's Capt. Brett Carani, a supervisor of jail and court services, said Hickmon is invaluable to the sheriff's office.
"He's a good man," he said. "Hickmon is a strong, strong, good honest hardworking person."
Hickmon has spent the past two years greeting and searching patrons of the courthouse at the front desk and guarding judges, inmates, juries and courtrooms during court proceedings.
The only place his smile doesn't light up is in the courtroom, where he said it's all business.
"It's kind of like a game face," Hickmon said. "It's like keeping your guard up."
But Hickmon can't hide his friendly and outgoing personality when working outside the courtroom.
"That's what I like about working in court services. You get to meet a lot of people," Hickmon said.
When not working the roughly four-on, four-off shifts or filling in as a bailiff on his days off, Hickmon works his own full-service auto detailing business or tinkers with his muscle car.
"I love cars," Hickmon said. "I have a 1979 (Chevrolet) Camaro that I play around with. Most of my time off (from both jobs) is usually spent on something to do with the car. Hopefully in March, I'll get the engine and stuff redone.''
After retiring from the sheriff's office, Hickmon said he might increase his auto detailing business to a full-time thing. In the meantime, he said, he'll continue working a job he loves.
"I am happy where I am at,'' he said. "I don't plan on going anywhere."
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