Longtime Liberty County Chief Deputy Keith Moran has adjusted several times in his four decades of law enforcement. But his newest adjustment has been the toughest - retirement.
"It's just starting to sink in and I must admit - it's a little scary," he said with a laugh one day before his official retirement.
Moran joined the Army at age 19 and became an MP. From there, he moved to the Criminal Investigations Division as a military investigator.
He was stationed in Hawaii when he switched assignments to Fort Stewart and his wife's native Liberty County. When he retired, he took a brief assignment with District Attorney Dupont Cheney. He then shifted to the new MACE drug task force. From there, he went to work for the late Sheriff Don Martin as chief deputy.
"According to my crystal ball theory, the job of chief deputy is to see problems before they happen and fix them as quickly as possible," he explained.
As chief deputy, Moran has overseen investigations, jail operations, staffs and budget and more.
"Keith's experience and knowledge have been priceless," noted current Sheriff Steve Sikes. "I tend to want to kill a fly with a hammer. But Keith is more diplomatic and helps keep us in line."
Moran said he won't the suffering associated with so many emergency calls. He still remembers the discovery of six murder victims in an Waltourville apartment in January 1998. However, the cooperation between so many agencies helped solve the case within 72 hours.
As to what we will miss?
"The people, really. As chief deputy, you're responsible for people and you come to care about them."
Moran has already cleaned out his office and retired Georgia State Patrol Trooper John Long has taken over the job as chief deputy.