December 16, 2020 - As Sheriff Willis Blackwell's time in office draws near, family, friends and employees gathered at the Shelby County Sheriff's Department to celebrate his time in law enforcement on December 16, 2020.
Sheriff Blackwell's wife Ann opened with a few words and expressed enthusiasm about the coming change.
"Thank you for supporting him the last eight years, because it hasn't all been roses for sure, it's been some pretty tough times," said Ann Blackwell. "Y'all have all stuck with him, and you just don't know how much that means to us."
She thanksed everyone for being supportive of Sheriff Blackwell and turned to Chief Deputy Kevin Windham to share his thoughts.
"On behalf of the Shelby County Sheriff's Department, not only the Sheriff's Department, but also as a citizen of the county we would like to thank you for what is it? 50 years? 50 years of service that he's taken out of his life to serve other people," said Windham. "That says a lot, because most of us I mean it's hard when you're always in the public's eye."
For Blackwell to put in 50 years of service in law enforcement Windham commended him and stated, "It's like they say, 'once a King, always a King,' once a Sheriff, always a Sheriff."
Sheriff Blackwell was then presented with a Henry Golden Boy rifle on which was imprinted his Sheriff's badge and it read, "Sheriff Blackwell Shelby County."
Sheriff Blackwell thanked everyone and said, "I appreciate everybody being here for the last eight years, it's been great. You know there've been some low times and lots of high times, but I appreciate it. I don't plan not to come by and see everybody, visit everybody. Thank you very much."