Longtime Wilson County Sheriff's Office Employees Ed Denney and John Wayne Freeman were honored on Thursday for their many years of dedication.
Sheriff Robert Bryan presented each man with a plaque and hosted a cake and ice cream party to celebrate their service to the department.
Officer Denney began as a part-time employee in 1969. He said he was hired by Bryan's father, Cecil Bryan, who served as Wilson County Sheriff from 1968-1974.
Denney became a full time employee in 1973. From 1978 to 1982 Denney served as Watertown Police Chief, before returning to the WCSO under the direction of Sheriff Terry Ashe.
Officer Freeman has been with the department since 1990 until retirement this year.
He stressed during the celebration that "nobody forced me to retire." Instead he honorably chose to retire due to some health issues.
Freeman credited the department with many good years and joked that if he hadn't been an officer, "I'd probably be an inmate."
Bryan said that times have changed in law enforcement and that while he is always sad to see folks go, he is sometimes a little jealous of them.
"A lot of the focus today on law enforcement is not good," he said. "But (these men) are the type of law enforcement that we need."
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