Amherst County Sheriff Jimmy Ayers to retire

Sheriff Jimmy Ayers

Sheriff Jimmy Ayers

From the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office: Sheriff L.J. Ayers today announced his retirement effective December 31st.  This morning Sheriff Ayers spoke with his complete staff at an 8am meeting. He explained the reasons for his decision and then endorsed Inv E.W. Viar as his replacement for Sheriff in this fall’s elections. What follows is Sheriff Ayers’s statement this morning:

“There will be many rumors flying as to why this is taking place. I will tell you exactly why I am retiring. There is a part of my job that I truly do not like and that is the political side of it. The everyday challenges of this job have never bothered me but the politics of it I despise. I want no parts of another election, twenty years ago was enough. In 1995 when I was elected I was 32 years old, a very young man. However over the past twenty years I have grown up here, it has been my life. I have two great kids and I know they have suffered because of my constant being away from home or when at home my mind being constantly occupied with something at work. I have two parents that are not getting any younger and I want the time to dedicate to them if need be. I have checked my VRS profile and I have pretty much maximized my eligibility benefit. The bottom line is, it is time.”

(Continue reading for Sheriff Ayers’ full statement)

Good morning staff. I appreciate each of you being here this morning. I know some of you have worked all night and I promise I won’t keep you long.

On October 22, 1985 I came into this department a kid. I had just turned 22 years of age. I came into an environment that I had absolutely no knowledge of other than the limited exposure I had received through working with the volunteer rescue squad and the Sheriff’s Office auxiliary. The old building/jail was somewhat in disrepair. The first thing I discovered was that I had become a part of a family. The old guys took me by the hand and led me and taught me what I needed to know in order to survive in this profession. A lot of these people have passed on and even through their death they have made me appreciate them even more. However time does move on and as I often think back about what my mentors taught me, or the examples they laid before me, it is to them that I owe a debt of gratitude.

On November 7, 1995, I was humbled when the citizens of this county elected me as their Sheriff. Again I was tossed into another world that I would not have been able to survive without the help and support of my staff and the citizens of this county. Through the past twenty years we have accomplished many goals that I would have assumed to have been unimaginable in 1995. We are blessed to have technology, equipment, training, etc. that a lot of rural Sheriff’s Office’s cannot even think about. We have a building that will serve the needs of this county for many years to come. All of these things have been made possible through the will of God and all of your efforts. Keep in mind a lot of these accomplishments were made possible through grants and your highway safety efforts, not out of the counties tax base.

This morning I stand before you to announce my retirement effective December 31, 2015. There will be many rumors flying as to why this is taking place. I will tell you exactly why I am retiring. There is a part of my job that I truly do not like and that is the political side of it. The everyday challenges of this job have never bothered me but the politics of it I despise. I want no parts of another election, twenty years ago was enough. In 1995 when I was elected I was 32 years old, a very young man. However over the past twenty years I have grown up here, it has been my life. I have two great kids and I know they have suffered because of my constant being away from home or when at home my mind being constantly occupied with something at work. I have two parents that are not getting any younger and I want the time to dedicate to them if need be. I have checked my VRS profile and I have pretty much maximized my eligibility benefit. The bottom line is, it is time.

As I separate from this place on December 31 I have no regrets. My dad always told me if you borrow or use something belonging to someone else you take it back to them or leave it with them in as good of shape or better than you received it. I can truly say God has blessed me and the citizens of this county have entrusted and gifted me with the opportunity to serve them. Without reservation I can say that I have had the honor to serve with some of the finest people you could ever know. With that being said I will leave this office in at least as good of shape as I found it and with a fine team of men and women, dedicated and committed to serve this county.

Most all of you know that former town officer Jeff Rowe has filed as a candidate for Sheriff. I ask you to look at his facebook page and find his platform. I think the only thing you will see regarding platform is when someone post and ask what it was. People his platform is 20 years of animosity and a vindictive desire fueled by disgruntled individuals.

People if there has ever been a time you all need to unify, it is now. Do not let this department go in a backward direction. I ask each of you to support me as I endorse Investigator E.W. Viar, Jr. as candidate for Sheriff in the November 3, 2015 election.

As I have been thinking back over the last several days, 30 years has been a flash, however we have accomplished many goals. I have fulfilled my obligation that I made to my citizens 20 years ago. I attribute every bit of any success I have had to each of you and to my fellow staff that has passed on. And for that I say Thank You! Please stay safe, lead by your own example, and always be professional exemplifying the true law-enforcement that you are.

If any of you may need anything before or after the 31st remember I am only a phone call away.

May God Bless each of you.

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