TOPEKA, Kan (WIBW) --- If you’ve ever walked through the doors of the Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, there’s a chance Sheriff’s Deputy Fred D’Ercole greeted you with a smile and helped you in some way.
"I like talking to people you know like to help them I like being helpful and people come in here for a lot different situations, a lot of different reasons, the come in for marriage licenses, they come in to go to court, and I just try to be helpful,” Fred explained. “It's part of my job to give them information, steer them in the right direction."
For nearly 20 years, he was worked with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office assisting the community.
"I've actually worked for three Sheriff's. Their pictures are right up here on the wall. Sheriff Anderson hired me and I worked for Jared Trap, and Sheriff McGovern. The current sheriff,” he said pointing to a wall of pictures.
Before getting into law enforcement, Fred had a much different career in mind.
"I was a teacher. I taught school at Eudora for one year, and I just chose a different career path,” he said.
When that didn’t work out, in 1973 he took a job as a dispatcher with the Lawrence Police Department. He became an officer later that same year.
"I've been a police officer then until 1999 when I retired,” Fred said.
His retirement didn’t last long.
"And then I came to work for the Sheriff's office about a week later,” he said.
Since then Fred has taken on many different roles. He was a patrol deputy, warrant officer, and a court security officer, before attempting to retire once again in 2017.
"Then back to work part time,” he said.
Fred realized that he just couldn’t stay away.
"I just didn't want to sit around at home idly and not do anything I jumped at the opportunity for a couple days a week,” he explained.
He’s continuing to make memories like the ones he enjoyed over the past 45 years.
"In 2008 when KU won the national championship, it was really a lot of fun to be downtown. Everybody was friendly. Everybody was happy. Everyone was high fiving. It was fun time,” he reminisced.
Now, as many prepare to make their way through the Law Enforcement Center, Fred makes sure their visit is safe before sending them on their way.
"Coming to work every day is not a burden,” he added.
Fred said his career in law enforcement has been fulfilling, and he has no plans on retiring again anytime soon.