After 30 years and thousands of trials, Audrain County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Gary W. Clay is turning in his badge.

“It’s changed quite a bit over the years since 1980,” Clay said of law-enforcement work, something he

Gary Clay, Audrain County Court bailiff, has retired.

had been doing since his tour of duty as an aircraft hydraulic mechanic ended in 1980, “Equipment, procedures, the way you do things, the way you approach people, the way you talk with people.”

He said the training and ongoing education is one of the biggest areas of change. “Training, training and education, they’ve really tried to keep the training up.”

His first law enforcement job was with Mexico Public Safety lasted 20 years, and required 120 hours in training to be certified, Clay said. Now he said the minimum training required to be POST-certified is 700 hours and of course you have to keep up your training with at least two or three hours each month and you have to keep that training up for a period of three years and then you start another cycle.”

Over the years he’s worked for Mexico Police Chiefs Don Bolley and Greg Miller, then Audrain County Sheriff’s Stuart Miller and Matt Oller. “Each one’s presented their own challenges, but we all go through it.”

He said the move from Mexico Public Safety was inspired by the new opportunity to work with the jail. In 2004 he transferred to the court bailiff’s office and had been there ever since.

“That’s our job, interact with the judges, take care of logistical problems moving prisoners from jail to court and back to jail again,” Clay said. The job also includes out-of-state extraditions. “We also did our own extraditions, picking up prisoners from out of state, bringing them back to the state of Missouri for court proceedings.”

He said the out of state transports were interesting, “they had their own set of challenges.”

Judge Linda Hamlet, Clay said when asked which of the dozens of judges she worked with really made an impression on him. “Of all the judges, I really got along well with her. Of course all the judges we dealt with here in Audrain are very good judges.

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