The law enforcement community here in La-Grange and Troup County is more of a family than anything else. The things that these men and women endure on a regular basis takes a special kind of person and the ones that live in our town and work in our streets are some of the absolute best that the nation has to offer. When one of them decides to leave, it is tough for the whole department to take but still, seeing an officer retire alive and well is always cause for celebration. That was the case this past Tuesday afternoon, February 20th, when long time Troup County Sheriff’s Deputy Norman “Rusty” Stiehl officially retired from the department.
“[I’ve been in law enforcement for about] a total of 19 years. I was in Atlanta for probably nine years. I was with Delta Airlines for [and retired] after 28 years [Rusty was a manger of operations at Delta]. I have been here 10 years [with the Troup County Sheriff’s Office]. I would have never retired from Delta had it not been for them talking about bankruptcy and so forth at the time. I went ahead and retired to save some of benefits with them but I was too young to retire. I put out some applications, checked with the Georgia Post to make sure that I was still certified, [and] at that time, I put out applications when Troup County called me and I went from there.”
“I have been on patrol and here [working] in the courthouse. Originally, I was an investigator years ago and they asked me if I wanted to be an investigator here and after being on patrol, I decided I wanted to stay on patrol. [I] loved the excitement and just not knowing what was going to happen next. [I] loved helping people and doing things that I enjoyed. I finally decided at my age, I think at the time I was like 67 or 68, I had had some close calls so it was time for me to come up to the courthouse and let the younger guys do this.”
Rusty has plans to follow his passions into his retirement. “I am still a real-estate broker in Newnan and I’m licensed as a broker in Georgia and I’m licensed in Florida so I’m going to continue dabbling in my real-estate. I’ve worked since I was 13 so I just feel like I can’t slow down too much. I’m proud. It’s really a decision you have to make. I work with some good people and I’m going to miss a lot of them but I’m going to stop in [from time to time].