Doug Daugherty Retires After Serving Mitchell County for Thirty-Two Years
By Terry Bailey
Shortly after 9:00 a.m. on Monday, January 10th, 2017 something will take place in Mitchell County that hasn’t happened in 32 years. At that time, someone other than Doug Daugherty will be sworn in as the Sheriff of Mitchell County. After 11,680 days as Mitchell County Sheriff, Daugherty will step aside and County Clerk Chris Treaster will swear in the newly elected chief law enforcement officer of our county, Tony Perez.
Had Daugherty been asked for a short comment to sum up his career in law enforcement he most assuredly would have said, “Don’t blink. It goes faster than you think.” To accentuate how fast time flies, Daugherty is a 1967 alumni of Beloit High School and will be attending his class’ 50th reunion sometime this spring.
“When I was growing up I wanted to be a pilot or to work in law enforcement. I never got to fly an airplane but I got plenty of law enforcement time on the clock.”
Daugherty’s law enforcement tenure began in July of 1972. That was when he joined the City of Beloit’s police force as a patrol officer, the lowest rung on the ladder at that time. He spent the next six years learning and working his way up. He was promoted to a sergeant, then promoted to a lieutenant, and to the position of a detective. In 1978, the current Chief of Police moved away and Daugherty was promoted to the position of Chief.
In 1980 the lure of what he thought was a better job with better pay drew him away from Law Enforcement. In October of that year Daugherty began working for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. After a year and a half in his alternate career, he realized his heart was truly in the business of protecting and serving. He returned to Beloit and Dave Sutter offered him a job as a patrol officer on the Beloit Police force. Once again, he started at the bottom, looking to move up.
The opportunity to move up came in 1984 when Daugherty decided to take a shot at upsetting the current Sheriff of the County, Gary Reiter. When the votes were counted, Daugherty had won his first of 8 consecutive four-year terms as Sheriff.
“I have been lucky over the years,” said Daugherty. “I was shot at a few times but never wounded. Even more important, I never had to shoot anyone. Having to shoot somebody is a tragedy. Shooting and killing someone is a big burden to bear.”
Daugherty expressed appreciation for the undersheriff’s that have served under him. When he took office, Richard Sackoff served in that position until 1989. For the next 23 years, Tom Hall filled the position of undersheriff. Following Hall was Brian Schmitz for two years. When Schmitz left the job due to health reasons, Tony Perez was promoted to undersheriff.
“I can’t forget Donna,” said Daugherty. “We would be lost up here without her.” He was referred to Donna Schmitt his administrative assistant. She came to that position about nine years ago after having worked for Rod Ludwig for many years. Because Ludwig had been the long standing County Attorney. Schmitt came to the position with a wealth of knowledge of the legal system. When Daugherty said he would be lost without her, there no doubt whatsoever in that statement.
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