The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 27, 2013

Crouch retiring after 38 years with Sheriff's Office

By Kim West
kwest@athensnews-courier.com

— Ron Crouch isn’t one to talk about himself, but his proficient and colorful career as a Limestone sheriff’s deputy will be a tough act to follow when his retirement becomes official on Friday.

Whether it’s serving civil papers, chasing down suspects or even taking a goat by its horns, Crouch has proven to be an invaluable asset during his 38-year career, said Sheriff Mike Blakely.

“He had worked for the sheriff’s department before under Sheriff Buddy Evans and when I got elected, he came back to work for me,” said Blakely, who took office in 1982. “Ron is a great, well-rounded officer that really knows the county well. He is someone I’m going to miss, especially serving our civil papers.”

Blakely said the Sheriff’s Office served more than 10,000 civil documents and responded to 16,800 calls last year.

Among Crouch lore is when he helped chase down a drug suspect on foot two years ago. And one of his most publicized incidents came in 2008, when he responded to a distress call from a motorist involving a goat and a dog. After grabbing the goat — which had climbed atop a car and trampled it — the deputy loaded it into his patrol car, prompting the dog to jump into the backseat.

County recognition

During its work session on Wednesday, the County Commission presented Crouch, 64, with his retirement certificate and a round of praise that caused him to crack a few self-deprecating jokes.

District 2 Commissioner Steve Turner said Crouch had delivered “the best retirement speech I’ve ever heard” at a previous send-off. District 3 Commissioner Bill Latimer summed up the deputy’s no-nonsense style by saying, “What you see is what you get.”

County Administrator Pam Ball described Crouch, a Clements High School graduate and a Vietnam veteran, as a straight shooter in every sense of the word — he was the department’s first sniper — and a loyal friend.

“Many years ago when I worked at the Sheriff’s Office and prior to E-911, I remember occasions when a caller would say ‘Ron Crouch knows how to get here,’ instead of giving directions,” she said. “His knowledge of every road, hill and hollow in this county is exceptional. I will miss Ron, and I appreciate him for his outstanding service and his valued friendship.”