Sheriff Butch Conway was elected in 1996 and is currently serving in his third term of office. A veteran law enforcement officer with more than 30 years experience, Sheriff Conway has served in almost every capacity of police work.
Since being elected Sheriff, he has watched his department grow from 320 to 694 employees. He has achieved many noteworthy accomplishments during his three terms as sheriff. The most recent newsworthy events are the $75 million expansion of the county jail, and his vigilance in going after people involved in dogfighting by offering $10,000 of his personal money as a reward to those who turn in dog fighters in Gwinnett.
When he first took office in 1997, he reinstated the fugitive unit to Field Operations to help catch the most dangerous and elusive criminals and designed a program to replace DARE in the schools. Under his helm, the Gwinnett Sheriff's Department became one of the first agencies in Georgia to place the sex offender registry on the Internet.
His resume in law enforcement began in 1973 as an officer with the Gwinnett Police Department, where he served for 11 years rising to the rank of lieutenant in charge of the Vice, Intelligence and Narcotics Unit. In 1981, he founded a computer and office supply business and eventually left the police department to run that business full-time. But the call of law enforcement ran deep and he eventually returned to his first calling by taking the job of Lawrenceville Police Chief, where he remained for six years before being elected sheriff. Between his law enforcement stints, he served for seven years as a Magistrate judge.
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, the Anti Graffiti Coalition for Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful 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.
What is often not known about him is his dedication to charities.
In 2007, he rode his motorcycle from Alaska to Key West to raise more than $50,000 for Georgia Special Olympics athletes. He has worked hard for these athletes since 2001, and the Gwinnett Sheriff’s Department has remained the top fundraising agency for the state of Georgia for the past five years for this particular charity.
When he first came into office, he was instrumental in getting the department involved in Relay for Life. The department maintains a large presence at that event to this day.
But, the causes that stir him most passionately involve animals. He gives most of the credit to his wife, Judge Carla Brown. Between the two of them, they have rescued too many animals to count. Currently, they live on their horse farm with 20 dogs they have rescued. Some have taken up permanent residence at their home, but others they are still trying to place with loving families. Through his rescue efforts, the sheriff became heavily involved with the Society of Humane Friends and continuously helps raise money for them as well as the Spay Neuter Action Coalition of Georgia and other animal groups in the area.
The sheriff and his wife reside in the Harbins community where they own and operate a horse farm focused on the breeding and showing of reining horses. He also has two daughters, Jennifer Gunter and Regina Cann - and two grandsons, Garrison, age 5, and Bodie, age 3 months.