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BCSO supervisor retires

By ZOË HAGGARD - zhaggard@t-g.com
Posted 7/2/22

Penny Cooper started at the Bedford County Sheriff’s Department back in 1996 after her cousin Jimmy Parker, brother of then sheriff Clay Parker, approached her about a dispatch job. She was …

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BCSO supervisor retires

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Penny Cooper started at the Bedford County Sheriff’s Department back in 1996 after her cousin Jimmy Parker, brother of then sheriff Clay Parker, approached her about a dispatch job. She was immediately interested.  

“I just wanted to help the community.”  

Today, the Shelbyville native has served with BCSO for over 25 years, spending the last 16 years as Administrative Supervisor where she led the department’s Communication Division. She officially retired this past week to begin a new chapter.  

Though the title has changed from dispatch to communications clerks, the job is still the same: helping those when they need it the most.  

Cooper probably got that desire innately from her father who was a police officer. “I had thought about going into being an officer...but I’d rather be here.”  

Cooper’s responsibilities were many, including supervising dispatch, payroll, filing insurance, serving as the liaison between the department and TBI, and even keeping track of vehicle maintenance.  

“It was a lot to learn along the way, but I really enjoyed the job. I really enjoyed going to work,” she said. 

And at the end of the day, there was always someone to help.  

“We had a lot of people come to the window that just sometimes needed to talk to people. That was my favorite part,” Cooper said. “And, of course, I enjoyed supervising because I had some great people working in dispatch.”  

“There were days that would get to you, but overall, knowing you could help someone at the end of the day or being on the phone with someone that needed some help, that motivated me,” she said.  

That desire to be active and help the community hasn’t left, so what are her plans for retirement?  

“I figured out I don’t think I can stay at home all the time. I’ve got to do something,” Cooper said with a laugh. She has accepted a part-time job at Vanderbilt-Bedford where she will work in the emergency department.  

The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office would like to congratulate Cooper on her retirement.  

“We want to thank her for her contributions to the Sheriff’s Office which are too many to count,” the department wrote on their Facebook page.  

“Penny, although we will miss you greatly, we wish you the happiest of retirements, and we know you will enjoy your well-earned time with your family.”  

Cooper would like to thank all the sheriffs that gave her the opportunity to work, including Clay Parker, Randall Boyce, and Austin Swing.  

“And all of them have been nothing but amazing sheriffs,” said Cooper. 

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