Spotlight: Warren County Sheriff Jerry “Peanuts” Gaines
AT A GLANCE
Years in Law Enforcement: 40
Prior Law Enforcement Experience:
First elected sheriff in 1978; Warren County magistrate 1970-1973; Interim jailer of Warren County three times
Education: Bowling Green High School
Warren County enjoys an atmosphere of teamwork not only within its law enforcement community, but also with all public-safety agencies. Warren County has five law enforcement agencies, multiple federal and state law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services, and 10 fire departments. All of these agencies work together to make the Warren County community a great place to work and live. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office works daily with local drug task forces, animal control and emergency management. As of 2016, my office provides law enforcement services to the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport.
We have school-resource officers in all five county high schools. Those deputies not only assist with extracurricular activities, but also mentor students in other programs. Capt. Joe Jakub was instrumental in creating the Reach For Your Dreams program with the National Sheriffs’ Association as an alternative to D.A.R.E. We recently have partnered with our county parks department and have a full-time deputy assigned to the parks. The deputy liaisons with the parks, and provides an extra measure of security and safety to the community. I created a Cold Case Squad of retired officers to assist in investigating cases that need a fresh look. We also participate in Neighborhood Watch and work with our local Crime Stoppers program. Each year we ensure children are able to attend camp at the Kentucky Sheriffs’ Association Boys’ and Girls’ Ranch by providing transportation and collecting donations for fees. In 2014, my staff worked with the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police and obtained accreditation. The Warren County community is one of the only ones in the commonwealth that has an accredited sheriff’s office, police department and university police department.
OFFICER SAFETY NUGGETS
We strive to ensure our deputies and court-security officers receive the most current training available. Situations go a lot better when you treat people with dignity and respect.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE AGENCY
Many people have rated our office as the best full-service sheriff’s office in the state of Kentucky. I credit the success of my office to the hard work of my staff. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office has the best tax collection average in the commonwealth at 99.6 percent.
We participate in the National Sheriffs’ Association Triad program. We go into our elderly community and assist them with transportation so they can purchase groceries and other necessities. Many of these individuals depend on us to provide this service because they have no other help. Through our work family, we have partnered with Home Instead Senior Care to help with the Shop for a Senior program to ensure many who would be left out at Christmas are remembered. We help with purchasing and transportation of gifts.
LAW ENFORCEMENT WISDOM
As the sheriff of Warren County, I am plain spoken. I work for the people of Warren County, and I never forget that. I tell my staff to treat people the way they want to be treated. I want my staff to remember a lot of times we are dealing with people when they might not be in the best spot in their life, like an arrest or eviction. Because they’ve had contact with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t mean they are bad people, and they don’t deserve to be treated that way. If we have a positive encounter with them, it can help that next person who has to deal with them.