Photo submitted| The Meade County Messenger
Sheriff Phillip Wimpee (left) and Deputy Scotty Singleton (center) share a moment with Hayes Lee after he won the honor of being escorted to Ekron Elementary and breakfast with the officers earlier this year.
We live in a world that often seems increasingly occupied by people obsessed with recognition. One needs only to turn to social media and find countless examples of such behavior. Meade County Deputy Sheriff and School Resource Officer (SRO) Scotty Singleton is not one of those people. What Singleton is, though, is a homegrown Meade County hero who you could say was born and raised to protect and serve. Helping people is his calling; recognition is something he looks reluctantly upon.
“My father did it. My best friend’s dad was the chief of police here, Jerry Cox,” explained Singleton on his desire to be in law enforcement. “Jeff (Cox) was in it, and it’s just something I always wanted to do.”
Born the son of a Meade County Deputy, Singleton has been a part of emergency services since the age of 14. He started out with the Brandenburg Fire Department, and then the Meade County Fire Department. He moved to Bullitt County for a while where he served on two different fire departments along with a two year stint working at the Bullitt County Detention Center. He then moved backed to Brandenburg, taking a job with the Brandenburg Police Department and joined back with the Meade County Fire Department. After 20 years in fire service, he eventually had to give it up because policing took up so much of his time. He has served a combined 18 years in the Brandenburg Police Department and Meade County Sheriff’s Office.
In January of 2019 while working for the city of Brandenburg, Sheriff Phillip Wimpee offered Singleton a position as school resource officer and D.A.R.E officer. As SRO, the officer walks the schools wherever they are needed. Most of the time is spent at the high school where the majority of the issues are. The D.A.R.E. program (drug abuse resistance education) is a 10 week program taught to all 6th grade students in Meade County.
“I accepted the position, and I absolutely enjoy it. I love it!” said Singleton about the position. “When I took over as SRO, it was almost like a kick start again to my career. It’s like having a whole new family and 5,000 kids. I’ve also got 800 brothers and sisters that work there too.”
When asked what the best part of his job is, he didn’t even blink an eye at his quick response.
“The best part: oh man, helping people! I don’t do this for the recognition; I do this because I want to help people,” Singleton said with a big smile on his face. “If I can help one person and it makes a difference, my whole career is worth it. That’s what I love to do. I’ve done it all my life. That’s the only thing I know to do – is to help people.”
A lifetime in emergency services comes with a price, though. No matter how hard you try to protect and serve, there are days when the job brings an officer to the scene of a tragedy where nothing can be done, or instances, like in October, when Singleton lost one of his D.A.R.E students from last year to a car wreck on the Gene Snyder Highway in Louisville. His usual cheerful tone became melancholy as he reflected on how hard those moments are.
“You know, some of the worst things always involve kids. I mean that’s absolutely the worst,” Singleton somberly confessed. “I’ve seen a lot through the years. I’ve seen the worst; I’ve seen the best. The worst sticks in your mind. It just never goes away.”
When asked what he does to get his mind off the job after a tough shift, Singleton had nothing but his wife, Susan, and the family they have built on his mind.
“My wife and I might go for a drive, fishing or camping. Just spending time with family,” Singleton said. “When you can go camping, it is just such a release.”
Scotty and Susan have three children, five grandchildren and two dogs that they rescued. He beamed as he spoke about each one of them with great pride. When asked if he spoiled the grandchildren, he said absolutely and reflected on how much he loved them. They seemed to be the perfect medicine to take his mind off a rough day on the job.
Meade County is blessed to have so many wonderful men and women who work in emergency services. Scotty Singleton is a prime example of how many of the best of the best call our community home.
“To me, it would be serving the community, doing the right thing, just helping people. I mean if you’re not willing to help people, this isn’t for you,” Singleton said of what it means to be an officer. “We live in such an awesome community. Our community backs our police officers. I’ve just always loved this community!”
I think most would agree that we love having brave men and women like Deputy Singleton in this community and are beyond thankful for all that they do.