Sheriff’s deputy honored for service to county

Longtime Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Gay turned in his badge and filed his last report Friday as he headed out the door toward retirement.  Of all the things he’s going to miss about working every day, Gay said it is mostly the people in the courthouse the people he visited with every day. “But I won’t miss the alarm going off and putting on the uniform,” he said. Gay started working at the sheriff’s office as a jailer back when the former courthouse jail was operated by the sheriff’s office. He became the environmental officer for a time, a grant-funded position that involved investigations of illegal dumping. He later worked as the evidence officer, served as a transport officer and had worked the last few years as the courthouse security deputy.

Gay said he used to work the overnight shift as a jailer, by himself, in the old jail atop the courthouse. He had to conduct bed checks every 30 minutes and would start on the fourth floor, then check the third-floor cells before making his way down the stairs into sheriff’s office on the ground floor to grab a cup of coffee.

He’d take the stairs back up to the fourth floor and start the 30-minute process over again and again.

As a transport deputy, he traveled many miles over the years to pick up prisoners with now-retired deputy Walter Taft. When people with outstanding arrest warrants from this area were found and arrested in other states, the duo would drive to pick them up and bring them back to jail to face charges here.

While serving as courthouse security deputy, Gay patrolled the courthouse and was a security presence during a multitude of court hearings.

During his retirement party Friday, Sheriff Kurt Shirey presented Gay with a plaque to honor him for his years of service.

Several of his current and former colleagues also joined in the congratulations.

In retirement, Gay and his wife, Janie, plan to go fishing and do home improvement projects at their house in Tecumseh.