PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Bay County Sheriff’s Office said goodbye to two longtime employees on Monday, Becky Johns in the Records Department and Lt. Koren Daniels in Criminal Investigations.
Johns worked for BCSO for 35 years, under the direction of six different sheriffs. Four of those six, Tommy Ford, Bill Lewis, Guy Tunnell and Frank McKeithen, all attended a retirement ceremony for Johns and Daniels on Monday at BCSO; they said it’s a very special, but sad occasion.
“We’re excited about their retirement but yet, it’s bittersweet,” McKeithen said.
Johns said saying goodbye to the sheriff’s office is one of the hardest things she’s done.
“It’s going to be hard, it’s going to be very hard,” she said, holding back tears. “I love them all and I wish this agency nothing but the best.”
Former sheriffs said she was a light in the office, and an icon throughout the department.
“She was always a joy, had a good spirit about her,” Tunnell said. “[She] was always supportive of the mission of the Sheriff’s Office, went above and beyond in so many ways.”
“While we hate to see her leave, we know that she deserves a little bit of retirement and rest and relaxation and good times,” Lewis said.
Johns also led the way for “Project 25,” a holiday toy drive at BCSO that brings gifts to children around the community.
“Miss Becky’s been the centerpoint of that and organizes that and it’s been in her heart for a long time,” said Sheriff Tommy Ford.
“We have a very giving community,” Johns said. “I’m going to come back for that, to do that as long as I am able to do that.”
In the meantime, she said she’s excited to start the next chapter of her life, which will include spending much more time with her three grandsons.
“They’re my life too and I haven’t gotten to spend the time I should have with them,” she said. “That will happen.”
Another long-time employee, Lt. Koren Daniels, worked for BCSO for 30 years in the Criminal Investigations Division.
She said during her time at the sheriff’s office, she’s proud of the cases solved and is looking forward to being a mentor for the next generation of crime scene investigators as a part-time professor at FSU-PC.
“I’m not sad, I’m happy,” she said. “I’m happy because I’m not saying goodbye, I’m saying see you later. This is my family.”
Lt. Daniels, who was promoted to Captain by Sheriff Tommy Ford during her retirement ceremony, said she’s excited to spend more time with her family at home.
“I’m looking forward to being able to focus more on my family,” she said. “So many times the call of duty kind of interrupted the plans that we may have or had. I am a grandma now and it’s just a blessing beyond measure.”