After 27 years in law enforcement, Patrick County Sheriff’s Maj. Garry Brown is retiring, effective August 1.
Brown, who currently is second in command, with the rank of Major/Chief Deputy, said he is retiring to join Branch Civil’s safety team. He will be assigned to the company’s current project in Patrick County, which is adding four lanes to U.S. 58.
The new job “will be more regular hours” and a schedule of “5-days per week most weeks, and some Saturdays,” Brown said.
“In law enforcement, you only have to have 25 years” of service before retirement, “and this opportunity presented itself,” Brown, 54, said at a retirement luncheon held in his honor last week.
Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith spoke at that event, praising Brown’s loyalty and dedication.
“A sheriff’s office is kind of a different kind of animal,” with “wolves hiding in the bushes,” Smith said, adding that running the office is similar to the strategies needed in a chess game.
“To play that game, the success of the sheriff depends on loyalty,” Smith said. “You have to have loyalty, and the most important piece of that puzzle is the chief deputy.
“I can’t think of anyone more loyal and dedicated than Garry Brown,” Smith said, recalling that he and Brown had been friends before an election 16 years ago pitted the two against each other for the office.
“I figured it was a 50/50 chance of each of us” winning, Smith said, adding that he planned then to ask Brown to serve as chief deputy if he won.
Smith emerged victorious in the contest and followed through with his plan to have Brown serve as Chief Deputy. “In 15 and a half years we’ve worked together, we’ve never had a cross word,” Smith said.
Brown’s “loyalty and dedication to this county and to me is unmatched,” Smith said. “It’s been a great ride and we all hate to see him go.”
On a humorous note, Smith highlighted some of Brown’s dislikes in a list that included “lazy people and eating lunch after 11:15.”
Glock firearms also were on the list, Smith said, so the “Patrick County Sheriff’s Office, in honor of Garry Brown” doesn’t use that type of firearm.
At the conclusion, Smith presented Brown with a plaque of appreciation to honor his service along with other gifts.
Eric O’Connell, Jason Kruse, and Margie Stowe also spoke at the luncheon, with many recalling some of their more memorable moments with Brown and wishing him well in his new post.
Billy McCraw, a special agent with the Virginia State Police, presented a plaque to Brown for his willingness to partner with and assist the state police.
“It’s been easy to do what I’ve done here,” Brown said. “I’ve had great people to work with.”
As he prepares to take his leave, Brown said he will most miss “the people at work, the people in the community and helping people.”
The current Branch Civil project is expected to take 3 to 4 years to complete, Brown said. “I don’t know what will happen after that.”