After 15 years, the ‘Heart and Soul’ of the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department is Retiring
Administrative Assistant, Cathy Conner, Looks Forward to Her Next Phase of Life After an Influential Career
For 15 years, Cathy Conner has been a priceless member of the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department, assisting officers and staff members, taking care of office and administrative needs and even helping to move the department to a paperless system.
“As soon as she started, she took the reins of the department,” said Sheriff Joey East. “She’s been the momma of the bunch; the heart and soul of our department.”
Cathy’s importance to the staff makes her retirement this June a bittersweet change for many.
“We’re going to miss her, but this is what she has worked for,” said Sheriff Joey East. “We’re excited for her to relax, travel and enjoy time with her family. If she wants to come back, there will always be a place for her.”
Cathy joined the department after working in the Oxford School District for 16 years, first serving with Sheriff Buddy East.
“The job gave me and my family stability,” said Cathy. “I also loved the people and the action that came with the job.”
That love for the job kept Cathy in her role even as she approached retirement age.
When Sheriff Buddy East passed away, Cathy knew she needed to be there to stabilize the department through an interim Sheriff and new Sheriff. She did not want to leave the department during that difficult time.
“I wanted to do what I could to help Joey East get his feet on the ground and do what I could to support the department during the transition,” said Cathy.
When Joey East decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and run for Sheriff, she was glad that that she could be there to help.
“Cathy has so much institutional knowledge,” said Sheriff Joey East. “She was one of the hardest working and most trustworthy employees the department had. I jokingly told her I wasn’t going to run if she didn’t stay.”
As Cathy’s career comes to an end, she feels fulfilled with the role she has played and is going to miss the people and the business of the job.
“But I look forward to spending time with my grandbabies, not setting an alarm, and relaxing with my husband by our pool,” she said.
After her last day this month, Cathy plans to visit her sisters and enjoy the Florida in August. And just like the end of any great career, she and her family are going to Disney World.