Lifelong Warren County resident Jerry “Peanuts” Gaines has been sheriff for 31 years. Prior to that, he was a Warren County magistrate, interim jailer and a military policeman. Some public officials lose perspective over time and develop an attitude of ownership of the office they occupy, but to his great credit Gaines considers his position a sacred trust of the people.
On June 28 in Anaheim, Calif., the 3,000-sheriff-strong National Sheriffs’ Association, dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among sheriffs, is recognizing Gaines as the 2010 national Sheriff of the Year.
“This honor goes to my department,” Gaines said. “We have the best tax collection and 99.6 percent and we are a model county. This really is an honor not just for me, but for Warren County and Kentucky. It means we’re No. 1 in the United States!”
Gaines is current president of the Kentucky Sheriffs’ Association, which he also led in 1981-83, 1988 and 1994. He was NSA president in 2000-01, and has served in various executive and board roles with the state and national associations.
In Warren County, he’s implemented youth education and anti-drug programs that emphasize success over adversity. Among other accomplishments, he set an example of sound financial management that prompted legislation so it could be followed around the state.
Peanuts Gaines has achieved success by above all being servant of the people. Thank you for your service, sheriff.