Long-standing Franklin County Sheriff retires his badge - KMOV.com

Long-standing Franklin County Sheriff retires his badge

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) - After decades on the job, Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke is hanging up his badge. During
his career. he tackled a war on meth and investigated some high-profile kidnapping cases that drew national attention to Missouri. 

Every four years for the past 28, the people of Franklin County elected Gary Toelke to serve as sheriff.

"It's been fun, Franklin County is really a great place to work. It's definitely not boring there's always something going on out here," said Sheriff Toelke.
 
He's been challenged more than once. In September 2006, baby Abby Woods was kidnapped. A couple weeks later, a Franklin County deputy was shot in the line of duty. And in January 2007, Ben Ownby went missing.
 
"I can remember watching some of the kidnappings on television like Shawn when he was kidnapped and Elizabeth Smart all those and you think boy thank god that's not me and the next thing you know it is you," said Sheriff Toelke, "In short it was crazy a case like that happens once in a lifetime if at all most agencies never have to experience something like that."
 
While it was a difficult time in his career, Toelke says he's thankful each case had a positive ending. He even keeps in
touch with those families.
 
Sheriff Toelke said, "Even 10 years later if I go into a store or something somebody’s going to walk in and say boy I really
appreciate the work you guys did on those cases so you don't forget about them."
 
But the long time Sheriff is looking forward to moving on. During retirement, he plans to stay busy with other things.
 
"I've always got something going I just tinker around with a lot of stuff and always got some project I'm working on," said Sheriff Toelke.
 
The sheriff says he'll miss the people the most, but he isn't going far. 

Sheriff Toelke said, "I'll still see them I'm around in the area and the new sheriff, well so far my key card still works in the door so
I'll be coming in and saying hi now and then." Lt. Steve Pelton takes office on January First. He was recently in charge of patrol and SWAT.
 
When asked if Toelke had any advice for him, he said, "Just be patient and hang on because in this county eventually something’s going to happen you're going to get tested."
 
While Sheriff Toelke enjoyed his time serving his community, he says it was really the other way around.
 
"Law enforcement can’t function without help from the public and we've had some great help here in
Franklin County," said Sheriff Toelke.
 
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