Outgoing chief deputy Greg Dendinger (center) celebrates his retirement with new chief deputy Donnie Grant Jr. (left) and Sheriff David Cofield.

WEDOWEE - For the final time since 1988, Greg Dendinger is off duty. The chief deputy retired from law enforcement on Friday after 31 years in the service of local citizens.

During a luncheon held in Dendinger's honor on Friday at Randolph County Courthouse, Sheriff David Cofield called him articulate and organized. He said Dendinger could have made more money elsewhere, but chose to stay here in this community.

Dendinger's career began at Wadley Police Department. In 1998, he went to work as an officer for Lineville Housing Authority with arrest powers wherever they had properties. Then in 2006, Dendinger came to the sheriff's department to work for Sheriff Jeff Fuller.

At the time Cofield took office in 2011, he and Dendinger had not been on speaking terms after some issues in Wadley long ago. Cofield went to Dendinger and asked, "Where do you want to be in my administration?" And they have worked together ever since.

The courtroom was packed with friends for the luncheon, including sheriffs of neighboring counties. Dendinger, known for his sense of humor, did not disappoint in his remarks.

Dendinger's wife, Jennifer, removed his badge. Although retired, he will remain as a major in the reserves, and he will be issued a retired officer badge and ID.

"It's been one hell of a ride. I've seen a lot," said Dendinger. "Law enforcement cost me two marriages, and now it's because of my wife I can take a venture into another part of my life as a civilian."

The audience in the courtroom listened as the radio dispatcher was paged, and with that 562 went 10-42 for the last time.


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