Four retiring Sheriff's Office employees were recognized for their combined 77 years of service at Rutherford County Sheriff's Office during a ceremony Wednesday.
SRO Sgt. Bill West, SRO Greg King, Judicial Services Deputy Melvin Cunningham and Detention Deputy Deborah Vandygriff were honored by Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh.
West, who first worked as a deputy and detective, became one of the first five school resource officers in Rutherford County and in Tennessee when the program began in 1993.
He started his SRO career at Central Middle School, supervised SROs and finished his career at Brown's Chapel Elementary School. He coached Brown's Chapel archery team to the national competition for six consecutive year.
West served twice as president of the National Association of School Resource Officers and teaches NASRO classes. He worked at the Sheriff's Office 36 years.
King worked at Murfreesboro Police Department before joining the Sheriff's Office in 1999 as an SRO. He served as SRO at Eagleville School and Rockvale Elementary School.
He earned a life-saver award in 2014. He responded to a crash near the school where the driver was unresponsive. He administered first aid until the ambulance arrived.
King has a total of 40 years of law enforcement experience.
Cunningham retired from Murfreesboro Police after 34 years of service. He joined the sheriff's office in 2013 as a part-time transport deputy.
He became a full-time transport deputy and later worked in court security at the Judicial Center before his retirement.
Cunningham served as law enforcement officer for 48 years.
Vandygriff joined the Sheriff's Office in 2007 after working 5 years in corrections in Georgia.
She supervised inmates on second shift. She was responsible for handling the inmates' mail.