Andy Poteat can’t remember a time when he didn’t want to be a law enforcement officer.
“Law enforcement was always going to be my goal,” Poteat said.
He achieved that goal more than two decades ago, and his dedication and hard work saw him advance through the ranks of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, culminating at the end of last year with his promotion to chief deputy.
He replaces Steve Ellis, who retired last year. Poteat now oversees the day-to-day operations of the sheriff’s office, Iredell Sheriff Darren Campbell said.
Campbell said Poteat was the obvious choice to fill the role vacated by Ellis.
“He’s a great asset to the sheriff’s office,” he said.
Poteat is a native of Iredell County and a graduate of West Iredell High School. He joined the U.S. Navy after graduating from high school, and came back to his home town after being discharged.
He obtained his Basic Law Enforcement Training certification and was sworn in with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office in 1994. He worked in an active reserve capacity while also working as a detention officer at the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office.
Poteat came to Iredell in 1997 as a detention officer and then moved to bailiff. Poteat then went to work as a road deputy before moving into investigations in a detective training position. Poteat quickly advanced to detective sergeant when that position opened up and he worked in that capacity until he was promoted to lieutenant, where he supervised property crimes investigations.
He worked for a time as a narcotics division supervisor and then returned to the Criminal Investigations Division as a supervisor. Poteat was promoted to major, supervising CID, the Special Victims Unit, Crime Scene Investigations, crime lab and property/evidence section.
Poteat has also worked cold cases and served as the negotiator for the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team.
Campbell said Poteat’s attitude for thoroughness and his attention to detail make him perfect for the job of overseeing day-to-day operations at the sheriff’s office.
Poteat said he is excited about his new role, adding that many people along the way in his career made it possible.
“I am fortunate through the years to have people that I’ve learned from,” he said.