Ceremony honors retiring Shawnee County Sheriff’s officers

Whenever Shawnee County Sheriff’s Capt. Lance Royer took the witness stand, longtime Topeka defense attorney Pedro Irigonegaray said Monday, defense lawyers could rest assured they’d hear the truth and only the truth, “without exaggeration and with great integrity.”


Irigonegaray was among 12 people who went to the lectern Monday to recognize Royer during a ceremony that office held to honor three retiring officers: Royer, animal control supervisor Vicki Hamilton and Deputy Darrin Johnson.

Sheriff Herman Jones was master of ceremonies for the gathering at the Ramada Inn Downtown.

Scene of the sheriff's office retirements.

Jones told those present that Hamilton had been with the sheriff’s office since 1982, Royer since 1988 and Johnson since 1990.

Royer started work with the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office at age 25, after previously being employed as a dispatcher by the Abilene Police Department, the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Jones said.

Royer’s time with the department included several years he overseeing the Shawnee County Emergency Communications Center before he was transferred last October to a position as the sheriff’s office’s special projects and information technology manager.

Monday’s speakers praised Royer for being a mentor to younger officers and coordinating the project through the county’s multimillion-dollar public safety radio system was acquired and put in place.

Thanks to Royer, Jones said, operating that system is now like “driving a Cadillac, compared to driving a Fiesta in years past.”

Retired Shawnee County Sheriff’s supervisor Pat McGuire talked Monday about how he once was asked to move to a sergeant’s position Royer was vacating.

McGuire said he turned down that job because he knew nobody could do it as well as Royer had.

Royer will now be working as a Realtor here with Keller Williams Realty, he said Monday’s audience.

Multiple speakers voiced praise at Monday’s ceremony for Hamilton, who has supervised the sheriff’s office’s animal control unit since 1999.

Hamilton said the position was “probably one of the most perfect jobs for my personality.”

She said she enjoyed helping people and animals, adding that her career “went very quick.”

Undersheriff Phil Blume said he’d never met anyone “who worked harder and took on more on more” than Hamilton.

Jones said Johnson, who didn’t attend Monday’s event, worked over the years as a patrolman, courthouse security officer, process server and warrant officer.

Johnson spent his “entire career on the front lines, doing whatever it took,” Blume said.

He said he and Johnson were among seven members of the same sheriff’s office rookie class,, and had been the last two members of that class to remain with that office.

Contact reporter Tim Hrenchir at (785) 295-1184 or @timhrenchir on Twitter.