Sharp County bid farewell to Detective Sergeant Dale Weaver during a Jan. 18 reception at the Sheriff's office. Weaver, who retired in 2010 after five terms as sheriff, still had law enforcement in his blood as he returned to the department after a break of just six months, serving as a criminal investigator under Sheriff Mark Counts.
Weaver left the department to accept another job in law enforcement, but wants his position to remain undisclosed.
Weaver began his career in law enforcement in Cave City in 1981. He worked there for two years before moving to the Independence County Sheriff's Office. Weaver said, "They tried to hire me after I was working there (Cave City) for six months." He explained, since Cave City had sent him through the academy, and bought him a new car and other equipment, he just didn't feel right leaving them that soon.
In August of 1983, Weaver went to work for the Batesville Police Department and later joined in county force, working his way up to Detective. In 1984, he went to work for the 16th Drug Task Force as its investigator. Prosecuting Attorney Don McSpadden had received a grant to start the DTF, due to an increasing need for drug investigation in the area. Using three different grants combined with lots of hard work, they made the program successful. Weaver said Betty Ann Wyatt was his secretary, and still works for the DTF today. From 1993 to1998, Weaver worked for the Sharp County Sheriff's Department, then returned to the Drug Task Force, until he was elected as sheriff in 2002.
One thing that stands out in Weaver's career was solving the Terry and Kathy Watts double shotgun homicide case that occurred on Dec. 31, 1986 in Ash Flat. The case had some missing pieces, and, on May 1, 2006, Weaver and Detective David Huffmaster traveled to Florida where they finally arrested the man who shot the Watts at close range in their home. The following day, the two traveled to Kentucky to arrest the man who drove the getaway vehicle. "This gave the family closure. You cannot imagine the elation that family felt and expressed to us. The way it affected the family made it all worth it. It was something that made me feel like we were really doing something worthwhile."
Weaver said, "I went into law enforcement for one reason and that was because I thought I could help people. Now, I have been disillusioned a lot through the years. There are some people who don't want to be helped. I feel like, overall, I have made some difference and I have touched some lives along the way and there are a lot of people who have touched mine."
Former Cave City Police Chief Aaron Presser was recently hired to replace Weaver but, because of the resignation of Det. Ken Guidry, the department is still not up to full strength.
Weaver said he has enjoyed working with the fine group of people at the Sheriff's Department, and employees, former employees and friends stopped by the reception to enjoy cake and punch with Weaver before he begins his new endeavor.