JCSO Investigator retires after 50 years

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 8:11 PM CST
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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Lieutenant Larry Birge has been investigating and solving homicides since 1971 before many of his colleagues were even born; and he had a successful career to show for it.

“I think my wife figured 176 homicides in 50 years, and each one of them was important to me,” Birge said.

Thirty-six years of his 50-year career was spent as an investigator at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO).

“He’s been a staple here with the Sheriff’s Office for many years, and most of which has been as an investigator,” Sheriff Donnie Edenfield said. “He’s worked thousands of cases throughout those years, and he just has such a wealth of knowledge.”

Wednesday, Birge turned in his badge after all his years of service and officially retired. According to Birge, he’s seen a lot of changes during his time as an investigator, including the addition of new technology like DNA.

“We had A, B, O typing for blood, and then it finally resulted in DNA,” Birge said. “We could do classifications with DNA back then, and that has really helped us the last 15, 20 years.”

Birge was honored by JCSO on Wednesday, and presented with one plaque for 36 years of service to JCSO, one plaque for 50 years of service by the Florida Sheriff’s Association, and his engraved firearm.

“It’s an honor for me,” Edenfield said. “We’re happy for him, we’re grateful for his service to our citizens and to the state of Florida and we wish him the best.”

However, Birge isn’t leaving without anyone to take over for him, because his son is already following in his footsteps as an investigator.

“I appreciate him doing that, I know that’s what he wanted to do, but I’m very proud of him,” Birge added.

Birge says he’s excited to see where this next chapter takes him and plans to spend his retirement traveling the country with his wife.

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