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Hero Down: BCSO Lt. Clifton ‘Scotty’ McGaha Dies One Day Before Retirement

Bullitt County Sheriff's Office Lieutenant "Scotty" McGaha served his community for nearly four decades.

Louisville, KY – Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) Lieutenant Clifton Scott “Scotty” McGaha died early Saturday morning, just one day before his retirement.

The 69-year-old lieutenant passed away from natural causes after serving his community for nearly four decades, WAVE reported.

Even though Lt. McGaha planned to retire from the BCSO, he wasn’t about to retire from law enforcement altogether, Bullitt County Sheriff Walt Sholar told the news outlet.

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He was slated to be sworn in as an Audubon Park Police Department (APPD) officer on Tuesday.

Lt. McGaha, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, also served in the Vietnam War, according to his obituary.

He worked for the Pioneer Village Police Department (PVPD) prior to joining BCSO in 1999, WAVE reported.

“Scotty was a wonderful friend for over 38 years and a dedicated public servant for much longer than that,” the BCSO said in a Facebook post on Saturday afternoon. “Scotty McGaha truly embodied the Skills of a Warrior with the Heart of a Servant. He lived his Marine Corps motto ‘Semper Fidelis’ every day and gave selflessly to our County and our Commonwealth over and over again!”

Sheriff Sholar said that he and Lt. McGaha have been friends since the 1980s, WAVE reported.

“To know him was to love him and not only that, Scotty loved everybody,” the sheriff said. “People didn’t have to ask Scotty to help, he was just always there…You just turn around and he’s there to help with anything, everything.”

Audubon Park Police Chief Mike Minniear said he was devastated to learn of Lt. McGaha’s sudden death, and that he was looking forward to having the lieutenant’s positivity and shining personality within his department, WAVE reported.

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Lt. McGaha’s wife of 49 years, JoAnn, passed away just four months earlier, according to his obituary.

A scholarship in their names has been established for first-generation college students and veterans looking to study criminal justice at the University of Louisville, WAVE reported.

Lt. McGaha leaves behind three children and three grandchildren, as well as his mother, siblings, and many friends and extended family members, according to his obituary.

“Please join with us in prayer for GOD’s peace, comfort and strength to be endowed upon Scotty’s family and friends as we go through these days of grief,” the BCSO’s post read. “Let us remember always the wonderful legacy of service and help he provided to so many throughout our community for so long.”

Lt. McGaha will be laid to rest on Thursday.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Clifton Scott “Scotty” McGaha, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

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Holly Matkin - January Tue, 2020

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