There are 32 years of memories still hanging on the walls and sitting on shelves in Sheriff Terry Box's office.

It's the final stretch of the sheriff's tenure with Collin County. He's now just weeks from retirement from law enforcement; he started in dispatch in 1968 and quickly transitioned.

"I went to a small little town called Plano in 1971 and I was the 9th officer to be hired there," he joked.

Public service was in the family. His father was a McKinney fireman for many years. His legacy according to those close to him was his ability to manage through the county's substantial growth.

"We knew early on in the mid 80s that Collin County was gonna boom," he said.

Sheriff Terry Box 
Sheriff Terry Box 

Box said he had 40 employees in 1981 and a budget of $4 million for the department. Now he says he has 500 employees and a budget of $50 million. If you look on his walls there are too many accolades to count. He says one of his proudest moments is being named president of the Sheriff's Association in Texas.

The Sheriff says eventually, though, it was time to retire. He says another four years would put him in his 70s. He says he had served to the best of his ability and for a very long time. Plus, he said there are the pressures only a sheriff would know.

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<p>Sheriff Terry Box</p>

"Worried constantly about officers getting injured or killed on duty, and there's so much of that worry or pressure or stress you want to live with... it was time," he said.

Sheriff Box admits what happened in Dallas earlier this year when five officers were killed was tough for him as for many others.

"I'm very very fortunate that has not happened in my tenure, very fortunate, and that's the last thing I'd ever want to happen in my tenure."

Jim Skinner, the Republican candidate for sheriff, won the election by an overwhelming margin and will take over Jan. 1.

"You'll miss the people, yes you will. Everybody says, 'What are you gonna do when you retire?' I always say it's not what I'm gonna do, it's what I'm not gonna do,'" he laughed.