Where Are They Now? John Pierpont Says Being Sheriff Never Got Old

By Brett Martin | bmartin@kolr10.com

Published 05/22 2014 04:39AM

Updated 05/22 2014 06:33AM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- To serve and protect, that is all John T. Pierpont has ever known.
"I was 6 years old when he (his father) went in (as sheriff) and 18 when they went out."

Pierpont was elected Greene County Sheriff in 1980 following in his father’s footsteps.

"I grew up in the Greene County Sheriff's office," says Pierpont.

Over the next 20 years as top Deputy, Pierpont saw everything but cases like the murders of two young children and a mother stick with you.

"We had a lot of serious cases over the years but that one really bothered me."

"Those touch you. If you are human, those touch you."

Pierpont retired in 2000 when he was not re-elected after five terms in office. Former MSHP trooper Jack Merritt replaced Pierpont and was in office for 7 years.

"I'm thankful of the people that had confidence in me to elect me that many times."

Pierpont’s legacy still lives on through other deputies today.

"There are a lot of deputies that are still at the sheriff's office that I hired."

Concrete evidence of hardwork stands tall in Springfield, as well.

"Since that, there's been two new jails and I've been involved with both of them. I was involved a lot with the new one now."

His biggest accomplishment was bringing communities together.

"I had a strong neighborhood watch program and when I went out there were about 30,000 people in the neighborhood watch and I'm proud of that more than anything," says Pierpont.

After 14 years of retirement, the word "Sheriff" will never get old.

"When you are busy for 20 years, you sleep with the hand on the phone you know?"

"I guess its like a preacher or lawyer, everybody calls you sheriff you know? They did with my dad."

"It never gets out of your blood."

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