For his “outstanding” service as a sheriff’s deputy, Carlton Gay was honored with the inaugural Jessamine County Attorney’s Office Top Cop award at a law-enforcement update and briefing last Friday morning.
Gay is a veteran with two tours of duty in Afghanistan and is an annual volunteer at Ichthus. He has also been serving the community with the Jessamine County Sheriff’s Office (JSO) for nearly 10 years.
He graduated from the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Basic Training Class 322 on Feb. 14, 2003, and immediately signed on with JSO.
“You’ve all been adopted by a family today,” then-Jessamine County sheriff’s deputy Sammy Brown told the graduating officers. “I’d like to welcome you guys to that family.”
Gay took to his new “family” and has done a meritorious job ever since then, county attorney Brian Goettl said.
Goettl met with more than two dozen of the city’s and county’s law-enforcement agents Friday to bring them up to speed and provide information about current drug laws and other logistics. But before beginning, he said he planned to start the practice of honoring exemplary law-enforcement personnel every year.
“This year, the inaugural award went to someone who has made a big impact,” Goettl said. “Two different members of my staff came up to me and said, ‘We have to do something for this guy because he’s just done an outstanding job.’
“Tammy Hammond even wrote that he’s the ‘bravest person’ that she has ever dealt with.”
There were several others who expressed their gratitude to Goettl about Gay’s thoroughness on the job, he said.
“When we instituted the e-warrants system (July 2011), the very first e-warrant was a child-support case,” Goettl said. “We took it at 10 o’clock in the morning, and by noon, the defendant was in custody because of this guy.”
The city attorney also told another story about a man who was “basically taunting law enforcement by saying on Facebook that he had friends in the sheriff’s department and would never be picked up.”
Goettl said the defendant posted he was “going to smoke marijuana on the beach” even though he was wanted for cold checks in Jessamine County.
“After only a few days (of the e-warrant being issued),” Goettl said, “he was in custody.”
The county attorney said that was only one example of the many times Gay had served a difficult e-warrant.
“I appreciate the award coming from Brian Goettl and the county attorney’s office,” Gay said. “But what I do in serving warrants is not a one-person job. There are several agencies — the county sheriff’s office, the Nicholasville Police Department, our 911 center and the general public who call in to help ... it takes all those agencies working together to get the warrants served.”
Gay said that he particularly wanted to share the award with sheriff’s deputies Gerald Wheeler, Jason Beale and Jennifer Longworth and also Nicholasville police officer Keith Park and Cpl. Gary Resor.
“I accept this award, but I accept it on their behalf, too,” Gay said. “It’s all of us, not just me.”