On Friday, Dec. 9, more than a hundred people gathered to celebrate the careers of Sheriff Frank Denning and Undersheriff Kevin Cavanaugh in a retirement ceremony and celebration at the Olathe Community Center.
Dozens of attendees stood in a receiving line to shake hands with the event’s honorees before speeches and comments kicked off with Denning’s wife, Robin Lewis. Lewis, who swore Denning into office for each of his four terms as Johnson County Sheriff, presented the history of his career that started in Great Bend, Kansas.
Denning joined the Johnson County Sheriff’s department in 1978 as deputy in corrections. He became the county’s undersheriff in 2002 and was elected sheriff in 2004, 2008 and 2012. Among Denning and Cavanaugh’s legacy with the office, she noted the creation of the state-of-the-art (and internationally accredited) Criminalistics Laboratory, the development of the first internet crime unit in the country, collaboration with local mental health resources to improve outcomes for residents who may suffer from mental illness and continuing concern with the safety in Johnson County.
Lewis went on to speak about the career and legacy of Undersheriff Kevin Cavanaugh who began his law enforcement career in Pratt, Kansas. Cavanaugh joined the county sheriff’s office in 2005 as undersheriff to Denning.