NEWPORT, Ky. — Campbell County Sheriff's Office is so sure that John Sayers is the longest serving police officer in the state of Kentucky that they engraved it on an award.
"Further research reveals he may be the longest in the nation," a blog on their website reads. "We are having Guinness World Records look into it."
Longest or not, Sayers boasts nearly 62 years of service to law enforcement agencies in Northern Kentucky: The former mechanic started his law enforcement career on July 11, 1957.
Friday, the Campbell County Sheriff's Office sounded his final call over the radios, as he ended his last shift and stepped into retirement.
"He's one of those type of individuals," said Mike Jansen, Campbell County Sheriff. "He was the Andy Griffith or Sheriff Taylor before Sheriff Taylor."
He said he planned to retire years ago, but the 86-year-old officer said he felt Sheriff Jansen needed him, so he stayed.
He retired from his position as police chief of the Silver Grove Police Department in 2009, according to the sheriff's blog, and started up as a court security deputy at the Campbell County Sheriff's Office the very next day.
After more than six decades on the police force, Sayers has seen more than his fair share of ups and downs; from responding to the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire to saving children with CPR, and nearly everything in between.
"I try and find some good in everybody, and if you can use that, you don't have to fight 90 percent of the time," said Sayers.
Jansen describes Sayers as having a magic touch when it came to de-escalating situations, explaining that while other officers may have needed 25 to 30 minutes to solve a problem, Sayers could calm things down in a matter of moments.
"He will be missed," said Jansen. "You can never fill the man's shoes. His personality. His kindness, everything else. You can fill the position, but you can't fill the man's shoes...I just hope I'm half the man he was."