As Lt. Doyle Daugherty worked his last day at the Blount County Sheriff’s Office, a whole squad room full of law enforcement personnel showed up to wish the departing deputy well.
More than 50 people filed in and congratulated Daugherty, 61, as he celebrated 30 years in the business during a retirement send-off on Feb. 19.
Daugherty said he has been with the department 25 years and spent five years working with the University of Tennessee Police Department.
“I’m excited and happy to be retiring, but it’s almost a little scary. I’ve got mixed emotions. I’ll miss all the people,” he said.
Daugherty is an avid golfer and said he planned to play often for the next five to six weeks before he goes full-time with his side business - DD Investigative Services, a company that specializes in traffic accident reconstruction. “I’ll open my business full time in four or five months, and I may come do some part-time work in training.”
It is his passion for traffic accident reconstruction and his willingness to pass on knowledge about the subject that drew many in the sheriff’s office to Daugherty.
“What stands out to me most was Doyle’s willingness to pass on his knowledge to the younger guys,” said Sgt. Chris Cantrell, Blount County School Board member and coordinator of the Office of Professional Standards. “He’s taught DUI detection training classes and, in my opinion, he’s the best there is. He is always willing to help. I can’t say enough about the success of the Traffic Safety Unit under Doyle’s leadership.”
Field Training Officer Jeff Ledford said Daugherty was like a dad to the younger deputies. “I don’t know what we’ll do without him. He’s like a father-figure,” he said.
Blount County commissioner and former deputy Scott Helton said he and Doyle were partners on the Metro Drug Task Force (now known as the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force). “Doyle has always been a dedicated employee of the sheriff’s office, and he’s always been forward and up front and honest and made significant contributions to the sheriff’s office. Doyle has brought the Traffic Safety Division to where it is today.”
Sheriff James Berrong said Daugherty was at the sheriff’s office when he became sheriff 20 years ago. “I’ve worked with him throughout the years, and he’s done a great job,” Berrong said. “He’s a good friend, good employee and a good public servant.”
Jerry Orr, investigator with the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force, wished Daugherty the best. “Anyone who can do 30 years in law enforcement in this day and time earned some time in retirement,” Orr said. “We’re going to miss him around here.”
Head chaplain and director of volunteer services Randy Cruz said Daugherty is a good man and is respected by the deputies and support staff. “He’s a guy who leads by example and not by running his mouth,” Cruz said. “That’s why he has so much respect.”
Archie Garner, who recently retired as assistant chief with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office, joked that Daugherty tried to retire before he did. “I think what he is most noted for is how the Traffic Safety Unit grew,” Garner said. “He’s done a good job.”
Doyle’s wife, Janet, who works in records at the sheriff’s office, said her husband has been looking forward to retirement. “He’s been real excited, and I’m excited for him,” she said. “This is great for him to be recognized. He deserves it.”