Retiring Kansas sheriff recounts time on force: ‘She said I have aliens in my refrigerator’

HARVEY COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Harvey County residents said their final goodbye to long-time Sheriff T. Walton on Monday.

Dozens of people gathered in Newton to honor the decorated law enforcement officer and celebrate his retirement.

“It’s my time keep going forward,” said Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton to a crowd of people at the party.

For 28 years, the New York native, has served the Newton community. Walton told KSN during his time in Kansas he has responded to some odd calls.

“In the very beginning when I was a street officer one of my calls, a lady said there was a flying saucer that landed in the park and I responded. When I got there was no flying saucer. She said it got loaded on a flatbed trailer and it took off on Highway 50,” Walton said.

That alien case encounter wouldn’t be Walton’s last out-of-this-world call.

“This lady answers the door and she has tin foil on her head and she’s got a tin foil on her breasts and she hands me tin foil and she says put it on your head,” Walton said. “She said I have aliens in my refrigerator.”

However, not all of Walton’s calls were amusing. He said many of them were extremely difficult especially the Excel shooting call.

“It was absolutely a bad day, but we had to have someone to stand up in front of the camera, someone to tell the citizens of Harvey County, ‘We’ve got this. We have to take care of thing,’ and that happened to be me,” he said.

To many Walton was a symbol of strength during that tough time. He told KSN he was just doing his job.

“That’s what we do. We help people,” Walton said.

Walton said he owes his success to his family, coworkers, constituents and his partner, Mary.

“She’s my best partner,” he said.

Mary is a statue Walton got from a case while working for the Newton Police Department. It was found property that never made it into the evidence room. Instead, it stayed with Walton in his office for years. Walton said he considers Mary one of his most powerful weapons thanks to the many confessions she’s been able to get out of people.

“I was working a case where a gentleman had sexually abused his grandchildren and I did the interview in my office and he wasn’t going to give up anything, but his eyes were glued to Mary so I picked up on that and I said you know you can lie to me, you can lie to yourself, but you can’t lie to her and then here come the tears and he confessed,” Walton said.

Walton told KSN Mary helped him get about a dozen confessions out of people.

Through all of those confessions and all of the cases Walton worked no matter how odd or difficult they may have been, the Sheriff said he’s thankful for the opportunity to have served.

“I probably touched some lives, but there were many more lives that touched me,” Walton said.

Walton is moving to Washington to be closer to his family. Mary is moving too. After retirement, he said he wants to focus on writing books, reading poetry and practicing his love of photography.