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Former Crawford Sheriff Scott dies


July 27, 2011
Former two-term Crawford County Sheriff Richard Scott died at 11:39 p.m. Saturday, July 23, 2011, at his home at English following a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 62.

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Richard Scott
Scott, who handily was elected in 1998 and easily won re-election in 2002, was instrumental in the new, 74-bed jail at the Crawford County Judicial Complex, which opened during his second term and replaced the half-century-old, 14-bed facility that had failed state inspection.

His law enforcement career began years earlier, however. A 1966 graduate of English Sterling High School, Scott, after years of working various factory jobs, joined the Indiana State Police on April 1, 1972, at the age of 23. He retired on Dec. 31, 1998, in order to become Crawford County sheriff.

"I had a goal when I left high school that I was going to be a state trooper," Scott said during an interview in 2006. "I worked hard, studied and finally got the job. I think that if you apply yourself and work hard, you'll get where you want to go.

"I was a road trooper for about nine years. Then, I was a polygraph examiner for seven years. After that, I came back to Crawford County as a road trooper. A few years later, I became a detective, working on illegal prescription drug violations."

Following his eight years as sheriff, Scott remained retired only briefly. In January 2008, he was hired as an Internal Affairs Officer for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles Fraud and Security Section, covering the southwest part of the state.

Scott's son, Shawn, who followed in his father's footsteps when he joined the sheriff's department in 2008 and now is its chief deputy, said his father enjoyed his position at the BMV. His father, he said, liked utilizing his investigative skills but not being responsible for making any arrests, instead giving the cases to the appropriate jurisdictions.

The BMV position, Shawn Scott said, also allowed his father to be involved in the early stages of the state's efforts to use facial recognition. He added that his father, while with the Indiana State Police in the early 1990s, also participated in the state's early legal wiretapping efforts.

Shawn Scott said his father enjoyed his last few days, as several friends and co-workers made their way to English.

"It was a good week for him," he said. "He had a lot of visitors over."

The funeral was yesterday (Tuesday) at Hillview Christian Church west of Marengo with burial in Union Chapel Cemetery at Grantsburg. Denbo Funeral Home in English handled arrangements.

Shawn Scott, on Monday, said the funeral procession, complete with honor guard, was to stop along S.R. 64 at English so that his father's body could be driven past the judicial complex.

"He wanted to make one last pass in front of the courthouse," he said.

Shawn Scott said he was surprised when his father told him he was thinking about running for sheriff. His father, he said, was at a good stage of his career with the Indiana State Police. He said his father told him that he wanted to be sheriff in order to help his home county.

"I enjoyed being sheriff," Richard Scott said in 2006.

Shawn Scott said his father's life was a testament to how a boy from the small town of Grantsburg can grow up to have a lasting legacy.

"I learned so much from him, and so did everybody else," he said.

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