Joe Saunier, An Officer that Policed from the Heart

Joe Saunier

Joe Saunier

After Joe Saunier’s official retirement from the Lawrenceburg Police Department last week, we got to talk with him about his years on the force and his future plans.  Serving as a school resource officer, which is a police officer that helps provide a safer school environment, in his final years of his career, Joe has been able to positively help the community in many ways.

Joe originally started, right after high school, by joining the army.  He said it was something he really wanted to do, but unfortunately, he couldn’t stay long due to a medical condition.  After being medically discharged, he worked at other jobs before being recommended to take a job at the Scott County Jail.  As he worked there, he saw the officers coming and going and thought to himself that would be a great job.  So he studied, and soon enough became a police officer.

As a police officer, Joe worked at a few different departments.  During this time, he had a son who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.  Because of the extreme medical costs of his son’s condition, his medical insurance would be maxed out roughly every two years, so he would be forced to change jobs to help his son.  Due to this, he would end up working here at the Lawrenceburg Police Department at two different times, which is something that is very unusual according to Joe.

During his years as a police officer, Joe made it a point to try to help troubled people.  He recalled an amazing story while he was at the Jessamine County Sheriff’s Office.  Right before Christmas one year with his son and Christmas goodies in the police cruiser with him, he heard a call over the radio that a couple took their children from their grandparents who had custody at the time.  As the description of the vehicle was being announced, he saw the car go right past him.

Eventually stopping the car, he talked with the couple and realized they were far from dangerous.  They just wanted to provide a semblance of a Christmas for their children.  Realizing that none of them ate since the day before and they were out of money and gas, Joe decided to help them out.  Putting everyone in his cruiser, he called a local McDonald’s to see if they were still open.  They were just about to close but stayed open after hearing the story.  Unfortunately, most of the employees already left, so there was no one to cook.  Joe called in for help, and numerous local and state officers came down and helped cook a meal for the children and parents.

After the meal, he brought everyone back to the local jail to wait for the grandparents to came back and pick up the children.  While there, he learned that the only reason why the parents lost their children was because they just couldn’t provide for them due to their minimal education and lack of luck.  So, Joe decided to help them out and got them a job at a local Walmart.

Years later while shopping at that Walmart, he heard his name called out on the speaker system.  After going to see why, he realized it was the couple he helped out years before.  They stayed with the jobs he got them, moved to the county, and were able to get their children back a year later.

Joe continued this passionate policing style through the years of his career.  Lawrenceburg Police Chief, Chris Atkins, once said that Joe, “Polices from the heart.”  And it showed, especially as a school resource officer.  Being a friend with all the kids, it was the highlight of his long, 26 year career.

Now that he has retired, he’s planning on continuing with his work at the state program for school resource officers.  He’s also moving forward with his Facebook page, “The Anti-Bully Police of Kentucky.”  He’s even considering a few private sector jobs for attorneys doing investigations of car accidents.  And, although he can now relax, he does miss his neat Ford Mustang police cruiser.

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