Benton County Sheriff finds peace after resignation

It's news that was a shock to fellow deputies and community members that came to admire his service.

Benton County Sheriff Steve Keane plans to move forward with his life after announcing his retirement.

Keane is as committed as they come in law enforcement, but since remission from his colon cancer the day to day duties as Benton County Sheriff have become much more challenging.

Keane said Tuesday that if there’s ever a time to get ahead of the fight with cancer it's right now.

"It's stage three and then I started thinking man I may not survive this," Benton County Sheriff Steve Keane said.

After five years of serving as the Sheriff of Benton County and a total of 25 years of law enforcement, 53 year-old Keane decided to retire from the job he loved after being in remission from his stage two colon cancer.

"It was kind of a wakeup call," Keane said.

Keane worked through the pain nearly every day, glued to two phones even on the days’ sickness was getting the best of him.

He credits his staff for helping keep normalcy in his work environment.

"I have very competent people," Keane added.

Keane says he's proud of his record of fighting gangs in Benton County.

He's also worked extremely hard to ensure that mentally ill inmates get the proper treatment they need.

However, he knows the mental health crisis in the community will be a challenge for his successor, Jerry Hatcher.

"I've been at the floor front of the mental health issue we hope to build a mental health wing and a suicide prevention wing, so that we can actually house people that have those kind of conditions in the right types of therapeutic environments," Undersheriff Jerry Hatcher said.

As a boss Sheriff Keane will be missed, but colleagues say even more so as a friend. 

"I'll miss hearing about what he did on the weekends and I'll miss his smile," Hatcher continued.

"His leadership and friendship and mentorship all of that has been for me more than I could ever pay back to him," Sergeant of Detectives Bob Brockman said.

As for Sheriff Keane his fight in law enforcement is over, but his fight for life continues.

"It's just about the fight now, it's not about anything else, you need to just fight it and get through it," Keane continued.

Keane plans to move to his cabin in Idaho to distress, while spending more time with his loved ones.

Our hope is that Keane will finally be able to unplug from the job and that he will beat his battle with cancer officially.

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