Remembering Former Benton County Sheriff Andy Lee

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BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) -- Law enforcement officers in Northwest Arkansas are remembering former Benton County Sheriff Andrew "Andy" Lee III, who served on the job for more than a decade.

Former Benton County Judge Gary Black said Lee was known for his love of being on camera and his no nonsense approach to running the office.

Lee was elected by voters for seven terms, assuming his role as head of the sheriff's office in 1989.

Sgt. Shannon Jenkins was hired by the former sheriff in 1996.

"It wasn't just another boss or another sheriff, or somebody that you work for," Jenkins said. "You really did truly feel like family with him."

Throughout his nearly 14 years as sheriff, Lee was described as someone who garnered respected and treated everyone equally.

"He just had this aura about him," Benton County deputy Keshia Guyll said. "He just demanded respect, yet he was just as willing to give it as well."

Black knew Lee well before he wore the sheriff's badge, and said he left quite an impression on him.

"We could be driving down the street in his car and all of a sudden he'd just whirl around and go down the street, and I said, 'What are you doing, Andy?' Well he saw something going on down there," Black said. "Sure enough, he was right."

Lee started his law enforcement career as a police officer in Washington, D.C. before he returned to Northwest Arkansas, eventually being elected sheriff.

"I have deputies today that come up to me and say, 'Andy Lee was a good guy. He gave me my first start as a deputy,'" Black said. "I think his footstep is all over this county."

Lee's son, Andy Lee IV, is a captain with the Benton County Sheriff's Office. Son, Travis Lee, was elected mayor of Cave Springs in 2014.

"His heart was for other people. Every single time," Travis Lee said. "Every decision he made was for somebody else." Andy Lee IV added, "He had a good heart. He wanted to make things right when he saw things were wrong, and he loved his family and friends."

For funeral arrangements for Andy Lee, click here.