SCOTT CITY Pulling double-duty as police chief and county sheriff in this west-central Kansas community hasn't left Alan Stewart time to do to many other things. But Stewart expects that to change soon, as he retires after 31 years of serving both departments.
Stewart, who serves as Scott City chief of police and Scott County sheriff, is hanging up his badges Friday.
"It is time," he said. "I have been in this community in law enforcement for 31 years. It's time for the younger people to take a turn."
Stewart started his career in Scott City as an undersheriff in 1969. In 1973, he was hired as chief of police. He ran for sheriff in 1974 and won.
"So I just ran both departments," he said. "It worked out fine."
In 1979, Stewart resigned from both positions to take a brief leave from law enforcement.
But in 1983 he returned to crime fighting when he was appointed sheriff after a recall election.
"I was just sheriff for a few years, but then they asked me if I would run both departments again," he said. "They were having trouble finding someone who could fit in with small-town law enforcement."
So Stewart signed on as both sheriff and chief of police in 1989. Since then, he has answered to the Scott City Council and the Scott County Commission.
The two law enforcement offices are separate in every aspect, with each paying half of Stewart's paycheck.
"Separate, but cooperative," Stewart said. "We are all in law enforcement, and we are all working toward the same goal. I tell them that all the time."
It is a lesson the undersheriff has taken to heart.
"After 18 years of hearing that, I will never forget it," Undersheriff Glenn Anderson said. "He lived by that philosophy, and he will be greatly missed. There will never be another Alan Stewart, or anyone who can come close to his legacy."
Stewart shrugs off the compliments, pointing out that the six city police officers, four county officers and six dispatchers are the ones who should be receiving the attention.
"I have always believed if you surround yourself with good people, they make you look good," he said."