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Jerry M. “Peanuts” Gaines
Warren County Sheriff
Sheriff Jerry M. “Peanuts” Gaines grew up in the Delafield community in Warren County, Kentucky. Gaines and his beautiful wife, Marilyn, have six children, seven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. The Gaines’ reside on their farm in Smiths Grove, Kentucky and attends Hillvue Heights Church in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Gaines has served or is currently serving in multiple civic groups throughout Warren County and Commonwealth of Kentucky, including Smiths Grove Lions Club, the Masonic Lodge, the Elks and The Moose Lodge and the Shriners. Gaines served his country as a military policeman before taking his first oath of office in 1969 as a Warren Fiscal Court Magistrate.
Gaines was then elected to the Office of Sheriff in 1978. At that time in Kentucky, you couldn’t succeed yourself in office; therefore, Gaines was prevented from running for his office again from 1982-1986. Gaines ran and was elected Sheriff again in 1986 and has been serving as Warren County Sheriff ever since, classifying him as the longest serving Sheriff in Warren County’s history.
Sheriff Jerry M. “Peanuts” Gaines serves the fourth largest county in Kentucky. Warren is a county of over 120,000 population. Gaines leads an office of approximately 95 employees and was granted the Kentucky Association of Police Chiefs Accreditation in 2013, making him one of only five Kentucky Sheriffs to receive the distinction. Gaines has been instrumental in implementing multiple programs within the county. Some of these programs include D.A.R.E., Reach for Your Dreams anti-drug program, “Crime Fighter” project, T.R.I.A.D., Senior Crime College, Sheriff’s Citizens Academy, Neighborhood Watch, hosted NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” in Warren County, “Operation Check it Out”, and many others. Gaines was named the “Grandfather of Neighborhood Watch” due to his expertise in implementing the program in Warren County and across the Commonwealth.
Gaines was also the first Sheriff in Kentucky to optimize his financial resources by investing the people’s tax dollars and earning interest on those funds. Gaines’s innovative approach and success in this venture contributed to the bill that was passed into law under Governor John Y. Brown that enabled county offices throughout the state to maximize their interest-earning capabilities. Sheriff Gaines was responsible for approximately 59 million dollars in tax collection for 2015. Gaines maintains one of the best collection rates in the Commonwealth with approximately 99.13 percent of collections.
Gaines has served in nearly every capacity in the Kentucky Sheriff’s Association and the National Sheriff’s Association. Some of the most noteworthy include being elected as NSA President 2000-2001 and being elected by his peers as the 2010 National Sheriff of the Year. Gaines has received numerous awards and recognitions during his tenure as Sheriff. Some of the most notable include 2006 Buford Pusser Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, Kentucky Sheriff of the Year, National Sheriff of the Year, Samuel McDowell Jr. award from the U.S. Marshall Service, NSA Ferris E. Lucas award in1995, and the NSA President’s Award in 2015. Sheriff Gaines was also elected president of Kentucky Association of Counties in 2014 making him the only Sheriff to ever serve in that capacity.
Gaines has always prided himself on being the people’s Sheriff. Gaines lives and operates his office by the fact that his election to the Office of Sheriff is built upon a sacred trust of the people whom he serves.