By Sara Seidel/Richmond News
Garry Bush knows two things about Ray County: its towns and its people.
And he says he likes helping them. So Bush, who’s currently chief deputy of the Ray County Sheriff’s Department, is running for the department’s top job.
A lifelong Ray County resident, Bush graduated from Richmond High School in 1974. After working at a grocery store, Bush ran a beef and hog processing plant.
At the time, a friend was the city marshal of Rayville, and Bush started riding with his friend in his patrol car. Together, they became volunteer reserve deputies for the Ray County Sheriff’s Department, and Bush later joined the force on a full-time basis.
“I just liked helping people,” Bush says. “I knew a lot of the county and most of its people.”
After 24 years with the department, Bush says working as a deputy can be rewarding. Deputies help people who are stranded on roads; they help people who are arguing with neighbors. It’s rewarding to find a lost child or a missing adult, he adds.
“When someone’s house is broken into, they thank you when you leave,” Bush continues. “They appreciate your help.”
Sometimes, appreciation comes from unlikely places. Bush says some people he has arrested have come back and thanked him.
“They’ve straightened their life up,” he says.
Bush says he is able to develop such productive relationships because he talks to people on their own level. He tries to be kind and respectful.
“I try to treat them the same way I want to be treated,” Bush says.
Bush says his job now is busier than it was when he joined the force.
“Crime has just increased,” Bush says, adding that he thinks much of the criminal activity is moving to Ray County from outside its borders – the Kansas City metropolitan area and other counties.