NORMAN — The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office honored a late sheriff for his years of service with the agency Sunday at the F. DeWayne Beggs Detention Center.
A bronze bust of the late sheriff was unveiled to a crowd of about 30 people, including Beggs’ mother and wife.
Cleveland County Sheriff Joe Lester said several people who admired Beggs as sheriff wanted to recognize him with the bust. Beggs died May 15, 2009, following an illness.
“We wanted to do something that would honor DeWayne Beggs and the service he provided to the county,” Lester said, “ and today being his birthday I couldn’t think of a better day to unveil the statue of a great man.”
Beggs’ wife, Sue, who pulled the cover off the statue along with his mother, Hazel, said her husband would be honored to know about the bust.
“He would be very honored and proud,” she said. “I think it’s awesome.”
After removing the cover off the statue, Beggs’ mother sat wiping away tears as she talked about her son.
“He was a pastor at one time and when he trained troops he would really try to instill his faith in them. It seemed like everybody loved him, except a few of teenagers around town, but he was always a good man,” Hazel said.
Beggs said she followed her son throughout his entire career.
“I always, always looked in the newspaper at the things he did,” Hazel said, “I was always very proud.”
Along with the statue, a memorabilia case was filled with items from Beggs’ career with the sheriff’s office for visitors to admire.
The funds for the statue were donated by anonymous members of the community, and the statue was sculpted at the University of Oklahoma by Paul Moore and cast at the Foundry.
Beggs served as a deputy from Dec. 14, 1988 to June 30, 1992. He was sheriff from January of 1993 until he resigned in April 2008.
The F. DeWayne Beggs Detention Center opened in 2012 at the cost of $26 million and can hold up to 542 inmates. Beggs was involved in the planning of the facility, beginning in 1999.
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