A new Coffee County Judicial Commissioner took his oath of office on Wednesday, May 22.
Travis Reed, a former reserve deputy for the Coffee County Sheriff Department, accepted the task of becoming a judicial commissioner and, on his first day, he signed his first warrant.
“I really think one of the most fundamental things a society can have is their criminal justice system – that’s what makes it a safe place to stay,” Reed said.
Reed, a Manchester native and a CHS graduate of 2005, started his career in law enforcement in the sheriff department. His aspirations began in 2004 after his friend Dustin Holder died.
“My best friend, we called each other brothers, he was murdered when we were 16,” Reed revealed.
He explained he and Holder got into a fight two weeks before he died over what kind of people Holder wanted to hang out with and Holder showing an interest in drugs. The two didn’t see each other for two weeks after that fight. Then, Holder passed away.
“It’s definitely made me appreciate life,” Reed said. “I really try to wake up and be the best person I can be every day.”
Though Holder’s death was ruled as an accidental suicide, Reed knew he needed to do something to prevent another teenage death.
“After that, I thought maybe I could make a difference,” he said. “Not just for him – to maybe instill justice wasn’t overlooked for someone else. In turn, I guess it is giving him justice.”
He entered the reserve deputy program until it was suspended under Sheriff Chad Partin’s administration for a few months. Once the program was reinstated in December 2018, he rejoined and learned about the job opening for judicial commissioner.
“I just wanted to be a patrolman. This just kind of landed at my feet,” Reed said.
On the day he took oath, May 22, he stood next to Judge Craig Johnson, someone he’s known since Reed was 10 years old. Reed and Johnson used to help him with Old Timers Day and remembers riding the mule with him.
“To actually take that oath from a man of that stature” hit Reed hard, he said. He was not only going to be writing warrants, setting bonds, and holding extradition hearings, he was walking where the giants of Coffee County previously walked, Reed explained.
“It’s pretty cool. I’m really deeply honored and humbled at that appointment,” Reed said.
He hopes to uphold the law and be as fair and impartial as possible while in the role. He quoted Pastor Sunday Adelaja, the founder and senior pastor of the Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations: “Those who are men in God’s eyes would live and die for the promotion of equity, fairness and impartiality.”
Reed added, “I believe in fairness, I believe that no man is greater than the next no matter what kind of shoes that you’re wearing. I just believe God appointed judges and men of stature in the community to uphold justice and to make the community a better place to live and safer for everyone inside of the walls of it.”
Reed joins six other judicial commissioners, including department head Bobby Trail.