Sheriff Butch Conway was elected in 1996 and is currently serving in his fifth term of office. A veteran law enforcement officer with more than 30 years of experience, Butch has served in almost every capacity of police work. Since being elected Sheriff, he has seen the department grow from 320 to 725 employees. He added the Fugitive Unit to Field Operations in 1997 to apprehend the most dangerous and elusive criminals. In 2010, he established the 287(g) federal immigration program to identify and place detainers on illegal immigrants arrested in Gwinnett county, leading to a substantial reduction in the jail population. Recent projects include an expansion of the county jail approved by voters in 2002 and the start of Operation Second Chance – a program that rescues dogs from the euthanasia line at Gwinnett Animal Control and places them with inmates for obedience training in preparation for adoption to the general public. Over the past four years, Operation Second Chance has rescued over 200 dogs.
Sheriff Conway began his career in 1973 as an officer with the Gwinnett County Police Department, where he served for 11 years. He rose to the rank of lieutenant and was in charge of the Vice, Intelligence and Narcotics Unit operations before leaving the department to run an office supply business he started in 1981. During his career, he also served as a magistrate judge for seven years and was the Chief of Police of Lawrenceville for six years. Under his leadership, the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office became one of the first agencies in Georgia to place the Sex Offender Registry on the Internet and was the first Sheriff’s Office to become a state certified law enforcement agency.
Though his dedication to law enforcement is evident, what is often not as obvious is his dedication to the community. He currently serves on the Executive Board of Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful, the Board of Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership and the Georgia Sheriff’s Association Legislative Committee. He has served on the Lawrenceville City Council, the Gwinnett County Merit Board, chaired and served on the Gwinnett County Airport Authority, served on the Lawrenceville Housing Authority and he has chaired the Drug Free Workplace Committee of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police. He was also a founding director of the Girls Club of Gwinnett and a graduate of Leadership Gwinnett. Growing up in Decatur, Butch benefitted from being a Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Explorer Scout and credits those programs with giving him a foundation for service. He continues to support these organizations to this day.
Butch has two beautiful daughters, Jennifer Conway Clay and Regina Conway Cann, four adorable grandsons, a lovely granddaughter and, in his words, “two great sons-in-law”.