After 29 years in law enforcement Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department Cheif Deputy Gary Allen is calling it quits.
Alen started his career on Jan. 1 1983 as a patrol officer for the Baxter Springs Police Department progressing through the ranks to chief where he served for 8 years.
In 1996 Darrell Goff asked him to serve as his undersheriff.
In 2000 when Bob Creech was elected sheriff Allen stayed on as a sergeant under Creech, eventually returning to the rank of undersheriff in Creech’s administration.
In 2005 after an unsuccessful bid for sheriff against Steve Norman he went to work for Cherokee County Attorney Michael Goodrich as a criminal clerk — essentially an investigator — until returning to CKSO as chief deputy when current Sheriff David Groves was elected.
Allen said he has enjoyed his time in law enforcement over the years, finding intoxicated individuals some of the most amusing people he’s had to deal with.
In nearly 30 years Allen has worked hundreds, if not thousands, of cases. One in particular has stuck with him — a murder which has never been solved.
“The Jennifer Judd homicide in Baxter Springs, she was married and killed 10 days later,” Allen said. “It’s technically the first case reviewed by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation Cold Case Squad.”
Allen said there was a “person of interest” developed early in the case but there was never enough evidence to bring charges.
Judd was found stabbed to death in her home on May 11, 1992.
“It’s sad for the parents and the family,” he said. “I know they have grieved tremendously.”
Allen has a few plans for his retirement which officially begins April 2.
He said he’s recently welcomed his first grandchild, which was a contributing factor in his retirement and his youngest son has just graduated from Kansas State University.
“It’s time for mom and dad to kick back,” Allen chuckled.
He said as an avid gardener he plans to spend plenty of time in his vegetable garden as well as doing some traveling and working part time as a security officer for Mercy St. John’s in Joplin, Mo.