‘So long, Charlie’: deputy retires from annex duty
For 17 years, court security officer Charlie Beagle has been the first person visitors to the Woodford County Courthouse Annex see. He made sure they passed through the metal detector, and if the alarm sounded, politely suggested they double-check their pockets and clothes and put the offending items in little blue plastic baskets to the left. Wednesday was the 70-year-old’s last day on a job in which he saw many people on one of the worst days of their lives. Beagle was there when the annex opened –after his first career, in which he spent three decades as a corrections officer at the Federal Medical Complex in Lexington (FMC Lexington). “He’s like everybody’s grandfather, I guess you could call him,” said his boss, Woodford County Sheriff Wayne Wright. “I’ve never heard Charlie ever say a cuss word, or anything bad about anybody.” Beagle’s certainly had reason to do just that, having had to deal with situations ranging from inmates acting up to citizens angry about going to court or paying a traffic ticket. He said he’s never had to draw his weapon, but has had to settle people down several times. “Some of them are hostile,” Beagle said, smiling. “I guess I like people, and you can tell,” he said to the reporter, “Because when you started here, I started picking on you, and I think we’re kind of friendly toward each other.” Absolutely, the reporter said. “I try to love everybody, and the ones I can’t get along with, I just leave ’em alone. I try to follow the Golden Rule. Do unto others before they get a chance to do unto you,” Beagle said, adding quickly that he was joking, which he knew the reporter knew, but was afraid readers of The Sun who haven’t met him might not. “People make mistakes,” Beagle said of the thousands of annex visitors and jail inmates he’s met over nearly half a century. “Some of ’em, you see, and they come back and they’ve turned their life around and it’s just a joy to see. I’ve even had people come in here who worked for me in the prison in Lexington, who thanked for me to helping them … for treating them as human beings.” So it’s no surprise that Beagle has the proverbial mixed feelings about his second, and final, retirement. “It’s going to be nice to get up in the morning and not have to be to work, early, like 8 o’clock, but it’s going to be sad that I won’t be with my friends, my co-workers,” Beagle said on his second-to-last day. He admitted he can always come back to visit. “Yeah, they told me I have to bring the paper and other things. I’ve got my orders from all my co-workers – coffee, doughnuts, you know, the necessities of life,” Beagle said. Before FMC Lexington, Beagle served three years in the Army. Now he’ll have more time to read the military and history books he dearly loves; more time to serve at Southside Christian Church, where he’s an elder; more time for the Salvation Army, and the clothing bank where his wife volunteers, and the Masonic lodges in Midway and Versailles where he’s a longtime member. He’ll have more time with Maude, the Versailles native he married 47 years ago, and their seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren – and more time for himself. “I can sit there and read my books and read the paper, and just enjoy life. Whatever the day brings …” Beagle said. I met some awfully good people.” A lot of people who met Charlie Beagle say the same thing.