Sheriff: 'You can't replace them'

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By Ben Carlson

Sixty years.

That's how much law enforcement experience Anderson County will lose this week when Chief Deputy BJ Crane, Sgt. Joe Milam of the Kentucky State Police and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Officer Rick Hettinger retire from their departments.

Although coincidental in timing, it nevertheless is interesting that the three Anderson County men with so much law enforcement experience would all step down on virtually the same day.

"You can't replace them," said Sheriff Troy Young. "You hate to see them go. We'll miss the friendship and experience from three guys that know their jobs and know them well."

Crane retires as the county's top-ranking deputy after serving 20 years between the city of Lawrenceburg Police Department and sheriff's office.

Milam is a 20-year veteran of the state police, and Hettinger has served more than 20 years with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

"BJ and Rick are some good people," said Milam, who lives in the county's western end and has patrolled Anderson County for years.

"You can't beat BJ, and Rick has spent many years with Fish and Wildlife and has done a great job.

"The state police has meant everything to me in my life," said Milam, who joined the state police in 1988.

"But I have a chance to retire young and go onto something else. Now my wife [an interior designer] has a chance to come home and do her business out of the house. She's had to drive to Louisville every day for 10 years, and that's the main reason I'm retiring."

Milam said he has made no plans for the near future, saying he plans to enjoy his retirement for the time being.

Crane, who began his career with the Lawrenceburg Police Department, said he's not sure what his future holds, either, but has plenty of items lined up at home.

"Right now, I'm just going to do a lot of the honey-do's around the house," he said. "I'm just going to take a break for a while and see what comes next."

Hettinger, who patrols Anderson County for Fish and Wildlife, could not be reached Monday for comment.

Fellow officers said Monday was Hettinger's final official day on duty.

Young said each of the officers brought more than experience to the job.

"I put Joe right up there with BJ," he said. "They are great with people and they have great leadership abilities. I know they have the respect of the people they are over.

"Rick, bless his heart, is so methodical. He knows his job and would do anything in the world for you.

"They really will be missed."