Hendricks elected new Vidalia Police Chief

Published 1:00 am Sunday, March 9, 2008

VIDALIA — By more than a 10 percent margin, the voters of Vidalia elected a new chief of police Saturday.

Ronnie G. “Tapper” Hendricks received 55.72 percent of the election with 892 votes while 10-year incumbent Billy Hammers carried 44.28 percent with 709 votes.

Waiting for the results to come in at the clerk of court’s office Saturday night, Hammers said no matter which way they went, he was glad the election had come and gone.

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When the news came in, he took the news stoically.

“It was a hard fought campaign, but I guess God had other plans for me,” Hammers said.

At Hendricks’ victory party, a group of supporters gathered around him to offer their congratulations and continued support.

“I feel wonderful,” Hendricks said. “I can’t explain it in words.”

Hendricks said he wanted to thank God, his family and his supporters for helping bring about his election.

“After the primary election, we knew the people of Vidalia wanted a change,” Hendricks said. “Going into voting today I felt good about the election because of all the support I had. I believe one of the keys to my success is the organization of my supporters.”

Hendricks also had a message for the voters who did not cast their ballots for him, he said.

“I am their chief, and I am going to be there for them also,” Hendricks said. “I am going to work for the city and the citizens of Vidalia.”

In the primary election, both Hendricks and Hammers garnered approximately 42 percent of the vote. A total of 1,775 voters cast ballots in the primary, while 1,601 members of the electorate cast votes in the run-off Saturday.

Hendricks will take office in July.