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December 6, 2012

Longtime Floyd County police officer dies

Knight, a former chief, served almost 40 years at sheriff’s department

NEW ALBANY — There was just something special about Steve Knight. That is why Floyd County Sheriff Darrell Mills went to his friend after being elected six years ago with a job offer — to be the jail commander

“I had talked to him when I was running for office and had worked with him,” Mills said. “I knew he would do a great job. He took a big work load off me. He handled the lower-level issues and if they got bigger he brought them to me.”

Knight, who served 32 years in the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department, including a stint as chief, and the past six years as jail commander, died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 63.

He held various position’s in the sheriff’s department. Besides chief, he was also a shift commander, domestic violence instructor and served as assistant SWAT commander. Most recently, he was the crisis negotiation’s team leader.

Mills said Knight retired late in 2005 as an officer but immediately began his duties as jail commander Jan. 1, 2006. He worked up until a few weeks ago when he became too ill.

“He loved the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department,” Mills said. “He bled brown.”

He also passed along his love of law enforcement to his two children. His daughter Sherri Knight is chief of the New Albany Police Department and son Todd Knight is an officer with the Sellersburg Police Department. He is also survived by his wife Linda and three grandchildren.

Knight was a combat veteran of the Vietnam War prior to joining the sheriff’s department. He earned several honors while in the service including two Purple Hearts.

“We worked together on third shift for 14 years. He was a good supervisor,” said Capt. Jeff Topping with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department. “He was a good person to work for. He was always there for you.”

Mills said he met Knight in 1974 and not only considered him good co-worker, but also a friend.

“He always did an excellent job for me,” Mills said. “He was a good guy.”

Visitation for Knight will be from noon to 8 p.m. today, Dec. 7, and after 8 a.m. Saturday at Kraft Funeral Service, Spring Street Chapel, New Albany. A Masonic memorial service will be at 7 tonight at the funeral home. His funeral will be at noon Saturday at the funeral home.

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