He has served Vanderburgh County for 28 years and tomorrow is his last day on the job, but it's the lessons he's learned and passed on to others that will continue long after he's turned in his badge. In this week's Behind the Badge, we meet retiring Vanderburgh County Sheriff Eric Williams.
"Since the very first day I started here, I think I've loved every minute of it." As Sheriff Eric Williams prepares to take off his badge for the last time, he's reflecting back on the journey that brought him here.
"He basically one day said, I don't know what you're studying, but I think this is probably what you want to do." Brad Ellsworth is one sheriff who inspired Williams along his way. The other hails from Mayberry. "I try to work Andy Griffith episodes into just about every speech I give or presentation I make."
For Sheriff Williams, the lessons in those black and white episodes still ring true. "There's an episode of Andy Griffith where Barney holds his badge and he talks about how it represents the people of his community, and the power of that is really awesome."
Protecting his community is priority number one for Sheriff Williams, and right there with it is his family. "I'm very proud of all of them, and I think they are proud of me." One thing Sheriff Williams' family has learned through him is the value of giving back. "Public service is something to be proud of. It's something to aspire to that you can make a difference in your community!" Sheriff Williams hopes to see his legacy live on long after he walks out of the sheriff's office for the last time. "Maybe someday when one of the people that I hired and brought on board that I saw something in is sitting in this office as the sheriff of this county."