Wishing Sheriff Harris the best in her retirement

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 13, 2007

Today is the first day of a new era in law enforcement for the Butler County Sheriff's Office. Kenny Harden was sworn in as the new sheriff on Friday as Diane Harris' 12 years of service to the citizens of Butler County ended.

Undeniably, the final year of Harris' term was marred by the arrest of several former deputies, but that should not take away from all of the good she accomplished while serving as the county's top law enforcement officer. It was Harris who pushed for and eventually received a verbal and financial commitment from county officials to construct a new county jail, long needed due to the age and poor conditions of the current jail. By all accounts, she never turned away those who needed help and in the last year of her term - with deputy attrition at its worst - Sheriff Harris regularly worked long hours with little rest thereby ensuring the county's citizens would be able to call on the sheriff's office in times of need.

In the hours following the Democratic primary, it was clear that Butler County was divided as far as who should be sheriff. Only 68 votes separated Harris and Harden and the outcome could have just as well been in favor of the incumbent, testament to the loyalty of Harris' supporters.

We would like to wish Sheriff Harris the best in her retirement and thank her for her years of dedication and service to the people of Butler County.

We also wish Sheriff Kenny Harden the best in his new position and hope he will unite the people of this county by serving as an example of law enforcement and justice at its finest.