Meet the Sheriff

gaines_desk“Born and raised” is a familiar phrase. Perhaps the reason folks describe themselves this way, is because those words instantly convey a strong relationship to a place. The words immediately communicate a connection to a community of people.

I use these words to explain my loyalty to Warren County, and to the people in Warren County - where I was born and raised. I am the son of Kathryn Gaines Forrester and Emory “Peanuts” Gaines and a graduate of Bowling Green High School. Prior to being elected as your sheriff, I served in the United States Army, worked as a Warren County magistrate, acted as interim Warren County Jailer, and owned and managed a masonry company.

From the beginning, I felt an allegiance to our community, and a desire to serve our county. I’ve always believed Warren County deserves the best possible circumstances, and I want to continue to do everything I can to sustain and improve those circumstances. For 28 years and for 7 terms as Warren County’s Sheriff, that goal has been my guiding light, and my great honor. We are here to assure community safety, to protect liberty, to encourage prosperity, and to foster an environment where professional and personal aims are achievable. Since my initial term in 1978, our law enforcement agency has experienced growth and change in itself, and in the community. We have grown to a population of 110,000, the 4th largest county in the Commonwealth, and we’re growing by the day. Warren County Sheriff’s Office commitment to being professional, skillful, and helpful has grown and developed in response to the needs of the county we serve. But the dedication and the preservation of your trust will always remain the same.

As a member of the American Legion, the Fraternal Order of Police, Smiths Grove Lions Club, the Masonic Lodge and Shriners, Elks and Moose Lodge, National Association of Counties, and a chairman to NSA Rights to Employee Benefits, and being affiliated with other organizations - I know Warren County is comprised of thousands of civic-minded individuals who work tirelessly to benefit our citizens.

Upon receiving the 2010 National Sheriff’s Association’s “Sheriff of the Year,” I understood that I share this award with everyone who gives of themselves for the betterment of Warren County. I felt the same respect and gratitude for our citizens when presented with Kentucky Sheriff’s Association’s “Sheriff of the Year. With you, I’ve fulfilled 5 terms as KSA President, received the 2006 Buford Pusser “Officer of the Year for Outstanding Law Enforcement Service,” and the U.S. Marshall’s Service “Samuel McDowell, Jr. Award,” another first for a Kentucky sheriff.

For me, these acknowledgments are really a reflection of our community, offering opportunities to help our community. We created the TRIAD Senior Support and Crime College for county seniors, the Reach For Your Dreams program for our youth, the Sheriff’s Citizens Academy for our residents, the Neighborhood Watch Program for the safety of ourselves and our neighbors, and WCSO’s original Prevention Partners Program to promote anti-drug, anti-violence initiatives. These programs are the results of thousands of service-oriented people working together for the common good of our south-central Kentucky home.

The other enduring commitment in my life is my wife, Marilyn and our family. We attend Hillvue Heights Church in Bowling Green. Our six children are Nancy Clark, Ronnie East, Mike Gaines, Kelly Jenkins, Phillip Gaines, and Ashley Buttrum. In addition, we are enjoying seven grandchildren. My hobby is show horses, and our home is a farm in Smiths Grove. That farm is a daily reminder of another cause we champion, the Kentucky Sheriff’s Boys and Girls Ranch. Looking after a piece of land and animals can do wonders for the spirit.

For me, being born and raised in Warren County is not just a biographical detail. Instead, it is a promise to keep - to the others who are born and raised here, and to those who are so at home that they feel as if they were. Call on your Warren County Sheriff’s Office whenever you have a question, suggestion, or request for service. We look forward to hearing from you, and welcome your input.

Jerry “Peanuts” Gaines, Sheriff of Warren County

To learn about sheriffs around the state and nation, visit:
Kentucky Sheriffs Association @
National Sheriffs’ Association @
Kentucky Sheriffs’ Boys and Girls Ranch @

“Connecting Our Youth to the Beauty of the Bluegrass State”