12/23/2003 LAW ENFORCEMENT IN BLOOD: Even
age didn't deter Johnny Lake from his career at NCSO
Deputy Johnny Lake was recently awarded a pin for 25 years of
service to the Navarro County Sheriff's Office. He has been in
law enforcement since before he was even able to purchase his
own ammunition. Daily Sun photo/MICAH CHAPLIN
By MICAH CHAPLIN/Daily Sun Staff
Deputy Sgt. Johnny Lake has been wearing a
uniform longer than he's been able to legally buy his own
"When I first started, I wasn't even old
enough to buy bullets for my handgun and we had to buy our own
ammunition at that time," Lake said. "So I went to Gibson's, which
was where Big Lots is now, and luckily my aunt was there. I had to
give her money to buy my bullets for me."
Lake was recently honored with a pin for 25
years of service to the Navarro County Sheriff's Office.
He was born and raised in Navarro County,
spending most of his youth in Corbet. He is a graduate of Corsicana
High School and Navarro College. Lake has been married to Devonna
for 17 years and has two sons, Justin, 22, and Colton, 13.
Throughout high school, Lake worked at
Minyard's Grocery Store, which was located on Highway 31 where
Dollar General and Subway now stand. He had earned his way to a spot
as assistant produce manager, but decided during his senior year
that law enforcement was where he wanted to be.
"I just like law enforcement work. I hate
to say it's because I get to help people, because that's what
everyone says. So, I guess I just like working on the crimes and
answering the calls. " Lake said. "I knew I wanted to work for the
sheriff's office because I'd lived out in the county all my life."
He enrolled in the reserve academy at
Navarro College and became a reserve officer at the NCSO.
Today, six sheriff's later, he shares an
office with Sgt. Charles Statham and is currently the patrol
sergeant for the day shift.
"I definitely prefer the day shift," Lake
said. I've worked evenings and nights. Evenings are really busy and
I could never get used to the midnight shift."
He has responded to murder and robbery
cases, but Lake says those aren't the toughest calls. Dealing with
the death of a child, whether by accident or at the hands of an
abuser, is something Lake says he can never get used to.
"I still remember the first child abuse
case I went out on. The child ended up dying," Lake said. "Those
stick in your mind. You never forget about them and it's something
you never get used to."
In three years, Lake says he'll be eligible
for retirement, but he hasn't yet decided if he'll take that option.
"It all depends on how things are going all
that time. I'm not saying I'll quit then. I really don't know." he
said. "This is a very interesting career for someone who can get
into it, but it's not always like it is on TV. I'd say it's 99
percent boredom and 1 percent sheer terror. There are some good and
fun times, but there are bad and sad times too."
Micah Chaplin may be contacted via e-mail
Originally published in the Corsicana Daily Sun
- Dec 23, 2003
Reprinted with permission of the Corsicana Daily Sun
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