Adult Detention Center

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Major Bill Smith
Adult Detention Center Commander

The Cherokee County Adult Detention Center is a 512-bed facility affording housing to individuals both pre-sentence and sentenced.  The primary function of the Adult Detention Center is for the receiving, processing, and, housing of individuals charged with a felony and/or misdemeanor criminal violations. Those individuals that are unable to make bond remain in the custody until they appear in court.

The secondary function is the housing of sentenced inmates. Some inmates are sentenced to serve time for misdemeanor offenses (less than 1 year) and remain in the county facility for the duration of their sentence. Inmates that receive a court sentence of more than 1 year are considered inmates of the Georgia Department of Corrections and remain in the county facility until they may be received by a facility of the State of Georgia.

People visiting the Adult Detention Center are not allowed to loiter, smoke or use a cell phone within a hundred feet of the building for security reasons. These rules are posted at all entrances to the facility. Please adhere to these rules while visiting.

Adult Detention Center – Shift Commanders

Lt. Melissa Shaw
Shift 1 Commander ADC

Lt. Shaw has worked at the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office since June of 1998 and is currently assigned as the Commander of Shift 1 in the Adult Detention Center.  Lt. Shaw has worked in Court Services, Uniform Patrol, Traffic Enforcement Unit and the Training Division during her employment.  Lt. Shaw is the first female Deputy assigned to the Cherokee Multi-Agency S.W.A.T. Team and has been a member of the team for 14 years.  Lt. Shaw also served in the United States Marine Corps.

During her career, she has obtained several advanced certificates through the Georgia P.O.S.T. Council such as the Intermediate, Advanced, and Supervisory Certifications.  She is currently working to obtain her Management Certification.  She has also completed the Columbus State University’s Professional Management Program which focuses on leadership management.  Lt. Shaw is currently enrolled at Reinhardt University working to complete her Associate’s Degree.

Lt. Chris Strauts
Shift 2 Commander ADC


Lt. Mike Painter
Shift 3 Commander ADC

Lt. Painter has been employed with the Cherokee S.O. sine 1994. Lt. Painter was previously assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division, Criminal Investigations Division and was detached to the FBI North Georgia Major Offender Task Force for several years.  Lt. Painter currently supervises the Gang Unit and is the commander of the VIPER Unit in addition to his shift commander duties.  Lt. Painter has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Reinhardt University.

Lt. Mike Wells
Shift 4 Commander ADC


Lt. Wells has been employed with the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office since 2001.  Lt. Wells has an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and is currently working towards his Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Management at Reinhardt University.

Lt. Wells has worked in several areas of the Sheriff’s Office throughout his career.  Lt. Wells was assigned to the Uniform Patrol Divison as a deputy and eventually promoted to Corporal and then Sergeant within UPD.  Lt. Wells is the former Commander of the H.E.A.T Unit, Traffic Enforcement Unit Commander, Evidence Supervisor and a member of S.W.A.T.   Certified Instructor with specialties in speed detection,

Lt. Wells is a certified instructor with specialties in speed detection, firearms, and standardized field sobriety testing. Lt. Wells is also a certified Drug Recognition Expert.   Lt. Wells also has his intermediate, advanced, supervision and management certifications through GA P.O.S.T.