Meet Joe Milam, Our Soon to be New Sheriff

There will be a new sheriff in Lawrenceburg and his name is Joe Milam.  He has big shoes to fill with the retirement of Troy Young, but Joe is the man for the job.  His philosophy of life can be summed up in the words of his grandfather: “If people feel better after spending time with you, you are a success.”  That is certainly true for Joe.

Joe was born in Fort Knox on August 8, 1962.  His father died just 16 days later.  His mom moved the family to Lexington, but eventually settled in Anderson County when Joe was 11.  He started going to Western at that time.  They moved to town the next year so Joe could play football.  Unfortunately, a fall in a tobacco barn injured his back and broke his arm in two places during his sophomore year, and his football career was over. Two of his classmates were Troy Young and Bobbie Jo Lewis.  He graduated from Anderson County High School in 1980.

Joe learned the tool and die trade, along with welding in Georgetown and started his own business.  In 1982, he joined Union Underwear (Fruit of the Loom) in Frankfort.  In 1987, he married his childhood sweetheart, Terri.  They have three children, Victoria, Courtney and Jerry.  In 1988, Joe went to the state police academy, graduating in 1989.  He was assigned to the post in Frankfort, and after 9 months, began his work in Anderson County.  Two of his children, have followed in his footsteps: Jerry is already in the state police and Courtney is currently excelling in the academy.

In 2000, Joe transferred to legislative services and was appointed commander shortly after 9/11.  In 2004, Joe transferred back to Post 12 with the rank of sergeant.  He retired from the state police after 20 years in 2008.  In 2009, Sheriff Young asked Joe to join the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office as Chief Deputy.

Outside of his work at the sheriff’s office, he and his family enjoy church.  He also likes to hunt and do metal work.  Taking scrap metal and making useful products is a passion and goes back to the early days of his career.

With Joe being sworn in as sheriff at the end of the month, his office’s responsibilities will include ensuring the collection of taxes, supporting the courts as bailiff’s and security, prisoner transport for prisoners not held in the Shelby County Jail, patrolling the roads, and serving papers, warrants and summons.

Collecting taxes is a difficult job, but the Anderson County Sheriff does a great job.  In 2015, they collected virtually all of the taxes owed.  They do this by first sending out notices.  If you have not noticed, you get a tax break if you pay before they are due.  Otherwise, you pay the full amount.  If you are late, there are penalties.  Eventually, if you do not pay, your name and amount owed go to the county clerk who then publishes the names and amounts of those delinquent.

One change that is coming on the security function is that the courthouse is going to become a Judicial Center.  This is being done across the state under direction of the state AOC (Administration of Courts).  It means there will be security at the doors of the courthouse any time it is open.  There also will be only one way in and one way out.

Patrolling the roads is a 24×7 task.  This provides a visible presence and hopefully a deterrent to some crime. They have 209 square miles to patrol, so it is a big task.  The sheriff’s office has close ties to the state police and the Lawrenceburg City Police.  This helps them provide help fast.

Two programs that have been an important part of the community will be continued, DARE and Shop with a Cop.  DARE meets with 5th Graders and educates them on the dangers of drugs and violence.  Three of the sheriff’s deputies have the training and expertise to do the teaching.  They also use high school students as role models for the 5th graders.

Shop with a Cop is a program that is implemented at Christmastime but is raising funds throughout the year.  Last year over 50 children got new shoes and $200 to shop at Walmart.  Joe said it is extremely heartwarming to see the smiles of the young children.  He also said it is amazing to see children who have little, bypass things for themselves to get their mom or sisters a winter coat or something else they need.

Joe Milam is a fixer.  He wants to help people.  He may not always be able to give you everything you want, but he will always try to give you something.  One way you can help law enforcement is if you see criminal activity, or think you see criminal activity, call dispatch.

One last bit of wisdom from Joe: “Smile and have a positive attitude, because you live in one of the best counties in the state.”  Anderson County was lucky to have Troy Young as Sheriff.  The luck holds with Joe Milam as the new sheriff in town.

-Written by Don West

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Posted in Business & Government, Family & Community.

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