Jeff Dalton at FloydFest in July 2014

Jeff Dalton at FloydFest in July 2014

Floyd County Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Jeff Dalton is retiring next year to devote full-time to his other career as minister at Slate Mountain Church.

Dalton announced his retirement on Facebook Thursday night.

“Feb. 2, 1982, I started out on a journey that never in my wildest dreams would become a career in Law Enforcement,” Dalton said.  “But I guess Russell Quesenberry saw something in me.  Through this career I have served under five different Sheriffs and have done everything from dispatch to Chief Investigator. I have worked with many good people.”

Dalton started talking about retiring when he reached his goal as an ordained minister after he became a born again Christian.  He talks openly about his wilder days and often laces his sermons with stories from the past.

“I’m not sure exactly when my final day will be yet but as I do through this, I may post (on Facebook) a few stories from my memory,” he says.  “Of course, changing names to protect the guilty.”

Dalton presides over a church from my youth.  Although we disagree on some philosophical issues, I respect his judgment, his commitment to his beliefs and his performance as a law enforcement officer for more than 30 years.

He also rides a Harley and while he is giving up his badge, the bike remains.

The county loses a good cop but still has a good man in the pulpit and we Harley folk still have a fellow rider in our midst.