03/06/07 — Two Wayne County Sheriff's Office officers are retiring

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Two Wayne County Sheriff's Office officers are retiring

By Lee Williams
Published in News on March 6, 2007 1:46 PM

Two top-ranking officers of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office are stepping down from their posts and plans to replace them could be made in less than six months.

A major restructuring plan could take effect as early as July or August, Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders said.

"The positions will not be refilled permanently," he said. "They will be filled on a temporary basis. We plan on restructuring the department after July 1 or sometime in August. We will look at past performance, and we're doing some evaluations right now."

Maj. Billy Anderson, a 59-year-old Wayne County native, who oversaw nine branches including the patrol, warrant and civil divisions, retired Thursday after 23 years of service.

Capt. Joe Allen, 54, who supervises the Dudley annex, school resource and ordinance officers, will retire June 1 with more than 28 years of service to the county under his belt.

Winders said Anderson and Allen were assets to the department and they will be missed.

"Maj. Anderson has not only been a good major for the sheriff's office, but also a good friend," he said. "Through the years, with Maj. Anderson's help, we've made many accomplishments to make Wayne County Sheriff's Office better and more efficient."

Winders also lauded Allen's work performance.

"He's done a fantastic job operating the Dudley annex along with supervising the school resource officers and the ordinance officers," he said. "As many of us are aware, enforcing trash and junk car ordinances is not glamorous, but it is a necessary function to making Wayne County a better place to live and I thank him for all the efforts that he has accomplished."

Anderson and Allen plan to spend more time with family upon retirement. But while they will vacate their full-time positions, they will not turn over their badges and guns for good.

They will join the Special Deputy Reserve Program, which provides extra manpower at the courthouse or helps fill staffing shortages at various functions on a part-time basis.

The Special Deputy Program is where Anderson got his start in 1984. He was hired as a full-time deputy in 1985. A ride with a sheriff's deputy inspired him to join the profession.

Over the years, Anderson climbed through the ranks. He was promoted to sergeant in 1988, lieutenant in 1994 and captain in 1999. He went from managing a three-man shift to a staff of 55 in just 11 years.

Anderson said he enjoyed working for the department, but now it's time to start a new chapter in his life -- farming.

When he sits down and enjoys his first cup of coffee and reflects on his law enforcement career, he will only have one disappointment.

"The only regret I'll have is leaving all of my friends here," he said.

Allen joined the department in 1979 and became sergeant in 1984.

In 1999, he was transferred to the Wayne County Planning Department and became the county's first litter enforcement officer.

He was transferred back to the sheriff's office and was promoted to lieutenant in 2002, and captain in 2004.

Allen accomplished many goals during his tenure, but he said he will never forget the day he learned that the officer's creed "to protect and serve" were more than just words.

"In 1979, I went to a domestic call on Tommy's Road. A man pulled a gun on me and placed his child in front of his body as a shield," he said.

Allen's first instinct was to shoot, but he refrained.

"I chose not to shoot that man because I did not want to hurt the child," Allen said. "I thought it was better to risk my life than to kill or hurt that child."

Allen said he loved serving the county, but added he wanted to pursue other interests.

"I'm going to miss the people that I have been around for 20-plus years," he said. "I hate to leave them, but it's time for me to retire."

Before he departed, Allen said he wanted to leave those who want to pursue law enforcement with some advice.

"If you want to get in law enforcement, do what's right while you're young," Allen said. "And if you want to stay in law enforcement, you have to do what's right. It's just as easy to do right as it is to do wrong. It doesn't take any more effort."