Epperly honored by Lt. Gov. for 20 years of service

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Longest-running sheriff makes history in Barry County record books

Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly stands with Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder in his office holding a declaration presented to him by Kinder for his service to the county and Cassville community over the last 20 years. In total, Epperly has served 27 years with the county, and is known as the "working sheriff," working right alongside patrol officers and detectives to get the job done and keep the community safe. Epperly will retire in November when a new sheriff is elected. Contributed photo

Retiring Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly was honored July 19 by Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder at the sheriff's department for 20 years service to the county.

Kinder traveled to Cassville to present Epperly with an official declaration from his office for his service to the community and the state of Missouri.

In the wake of recent anti-police sentiment and shootings, Kinder said now, more than ever we must support, stand beside, and pay respect to law enforcement. In his presentation, during which Epperly was surrounded by family members, Kinder said throughout his tenure in Jefferson City, he has worked alongside some of the most decorated law enforcement officers in the state. And, he said it was his distinct pleasure to honor Epperly for his outstanding career of service with the Barry County Sheriff's Office, calling him an exemplary peace officer.

Epperly said he was very touched by and appreciative of the recognition and visit from Kinder.

"I was very pleased he came here," he said. "After 20 years, it was a blessing."

Epperly also did not know his family, who drove in from out of town, planned to attend the special event to honor him.

In total, Epperly has served the county for 27 years. He is a lifelong resident of Barry County who started his law enforcement career with the Barry County Sheriff's Office in 1989, rising to the rank of deputy. In 1996, he was elected sheriff, and re-elected to the position four times, making history in record books as the longest-serving sheriff in the history of Barry County.

During his years as sheriff, Epperly has worked alongside his staff verses focusing solely on administrative tasks.

In addition to being recognized and visited by Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder July 19 for 20 years service to the community and Barry County, retiring Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly also received a surprise visit from several members of his family. Pictured from left, are Epperly's son, Aaron, his wife Shelley, sons Braden and Bryson (baby), daughter Kiley, Epperly's wife Anna Epperly, Epperly, Epperly's daughter Amanda, her fiance Phillip Woods and Epperly's granddaughter Mackenzie Lawson. Julia Kilmer/reporter@cassville-democrat.com

"Sheriff Epperly has always been known as a 'working sheriff,' still going with patrol officers on calls and helping detectives with their investigations in his 20th year in office," Kinder said.

Epperly married his high school sweetheart, Anna Clark, and has two children, Amanda and Aaron, who they raised in Shell Knob where they have a cattle farm.

In his role as sheriff, Epperly has been proactively involved in several related advocacy groups, including serving as a director of the Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force, the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, MSSU Law Enforcement Training Committee, Barry County 911 Services, Missouri Sheriffs' Association, Child Advocacy Center and The Ozarks Drug Enforcement Team.

"It is clear that Sheriff Epperly's passion has been to make Barry County a safe place to live and raise a family," Kinder said. "It is my distinct pleasure to honor Sheriff Mick Epperly for his outstanding career of service with the Barry County Sheriff's Office."

Kinder said Epperly has been involved in numerous arrests and pursuits, and sustained injuries in a vehicle assault while in the line of duty. He is frequently the first on the scene of search-and-rescue missions and is committed to working until the job is done, and has worked every homicide case the sheriff's department has been involved in, including three homicides within one month of each in his first term.

Epperly will officially retire in November.

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