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Jay Davis is chief deputy of the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, a position he’s held for the past 20 years.

Jay Davis remembers when he decided to become a police officer. He was in Kindergarten. A police chief came to talk to his class about safety and afterward, the students got a chance to go outside and look at the police vehicle.

“We got to go look at that black and white car with the shiny, chrome speaker,” Davis recalled. “The chief was all shined up in his uniform and carrying a gun and I thought that was really cool. I’ll never forget that.”

Today, Davis serves as chief deputy of the Henry County Sheriff’s Department with the rank of major, a position he’s held since being appointed by former Sheriff Kim Cronk in 1999.

Born in San Antonio, Texas, Davis’ family moved to Indiana when he was young. He grew up on a small Henry County farm, just outside Hagerstown.

A graduate of Hagerstown High School, Davis has lived in Henry County for the past 40 years. He has two daughters and two grandsons.

Local career spans three decades

Davis started working at the Henry County Jail in September, 1984 after being hired by Ric McCorkle. At the time, McCorkle was serving as chief deputy under then-sheriff Paul Piercy.

Davis has worked at the Henry County Sheriff’s Department continuously for the past 34 years. He served as chief deputy to Sheriff Kim Cronk, as well as Sheriff Butch Baker and now Sheriff McCorkle.

“Jay has always been a stand-up guy, a heck of a cop and a heck of a family man,” McCorkle said. “I have the utmost trust and respect for Jay.”

Davis has been told by the Indiana Sheriff’s Association that it is “unheard of” to be appointed as chief deputy by three different sheriffs. In fact, it’s also been discussed that Davis is one of, if not the longest-serving chief deputies in the State of Indiana.

“I’m very proud of the work I do for the sheriff’s department and the citizens of Henry County,” Davis said. “I’m going to give good, hard work to whoever my boss is.”

As chief deputy, Davis oversees the daily operations of the department for the sheriff. That includes lots of paperwork, supervising building and vehicle maintenance and helping the jail commander with the jail and transition center. He also fills in when the sheriff is out of the office or on vacation.

“I would oftentimes consider myself a logistics person,” Davis said. “It’s my job every day to help the sheriff guide and run the department. I’m the sheriff’s right-hand man.”

Long-serving public servant

Over the years, Davis has received many awards for his accomplishments. Recently, he was recognized for his longtime support of the Henry County Reserve Unit.

A few years ago, he was named volunteer of the year by the local United Way. According to Davis, the importance of giving back to the community was something instilled in him by his mother.

Davis was also a member of the group who helped organize Henry County’s first-ever SWAT Team.

Working with children is also something Davis enjoys. He has been a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) officer since 1988.

D.A.R.E is a substance abuse prevention program taught in schools, with the goal of teaching kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs and violence, according to the D.A.R.E. America website.

D.A.R.E. Indiana recognized Davis as one of the top three longest-serving D.A.R.E. officers.

Davis currently works as a D.A.R.E. officer with the Blue River Valley School Corporation.

Sights on Sheriff’s office

In the future, Davis plans to run for Henry County Sheriff.

“I do have that desire and that would be my intent in the next sheriff’s race,” Davis said.

And when the time comes, Davis will have McCorkle’s full support.

“It’s my hope Jay takes over the reins when I’m done,” McCorkle said. “He’s very, very qualified.”

Until election time comes around again, Davis will continue to serve Henry County through a career he’s dreamed of since childhood.

“Even today, after 34 years here, and 20 years as chief deputy, I still love my job at the Henry County Sheriff’s Department,” Davis said. “And that’s what makes it easy. I was fortunate enough to get my childhood dream job and make the most of it after all these years.”

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