A big group gathered Friday to celebrate the achievements of four Benton County law enforcement officers.
Sheriff Keith Ferguson, Captain Mike Sydoriak, Major Gene Drake, and Chief Deputy Don Townsend are retiring after serving and protecting Benton County for decades.
“I’m happy that the people have come out in support of our retirement, and it is our retirement,” Ferguson said. “It’s not just mine. It shows their dedication. It’s gratifying.”
Ferguson has spent 43 years in law enforcement.
He began as an Arkansas State Trooper in 1969 and in 2002, after 32 years as a state trooper, he was elected Benton County Sheriff.
He began that role on January 1, 2003, and won every election after that.
Ferguson said Friday’s retirement ceremony signifies the end of an era.
At the end of the year the Benton County Sheriff’s Office will lose 150 years of combined law enforcement experience.
‘Loyal, honest and committed’ are the words Ferguson uses to describe his fellow officers.
“I’ve enjoyed several things that have happened in law enforcement, I didn’t enjoy everything but it has been a wonderful experience for me,” he said.
December 31 will be Ferguson, Sydoriak, Drake and Townsend’s last day with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.
Kelley Cradduck will replace Ferguson beginning January 1, 2013.