After more than 30 years of service each, Executive Assistant Karen Graham and Chief Deputy Doug Johnson recently announced their plans to retire from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, according to a news release.
“It is a sad day for me,” said Sheriff Travis Hutchinson during a gift presentation during their retirement party at the fairgrounds. “I will no longer see these two people around the office, and I will miss them.”
Graham began her employment with Disaster Services (now Emergency Management Agency) in 1977, left in 1982 due to layoffs, and returned in 1991 to the Sherriff’s Office. She worked with four different Sheriffs during her career, James Frost, Loran D. Alexander, Thomas G. Maurer, and Travis Hutchinson.
“I will miss seeing the good that deputies provide to the community,” Graham said. “We never seemed to have the issues that other law enforcement agencies in larger cities have. We have always had good Sheriffs elected to office and good deputies.”
Graham, self-described as “Wayne County born and bred,” will remain in the area and looks forward to spending time with family and grandchildren.
Johnson will retire in June after 31 years of service, including 25 years with the Sheriff’s Office and six as a Municipal Court Administrator.
“I worked for three different elected Sheriffs, and each one was unique, but they all served the community well and kept public safety a priority,” he said. “The experience of working in a public office and the camaraderie with everyone I’ve had the pleasure of working with for 31 years is something that will last a lifetime.”
Johnson will return to the department beginning in August on a part-time basis to serve in an administrative capacity.
“I have a lot of projects that I want to get done at home, but I still want to be involved throughout Sheriff Hutchinson’s terms in office,” he said. “I promised him that.”
Johnson plans to work on his mini-farm and travel to see family, including his son, who is serving in the military.