Longtime Butler County law enforcement officer dies

Harold May was “proud of being an officer,” said his daughter, Tari Clayton of Liberty Twp.

For most of his professional life, May was dedicated to public safety. He died on May 13. He was 73.

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“He showed me the value of hard work,” Clayton said of her father. “He was a really good worker. He also showed me how to treat and respect people.”

She said her father had a great sense of humor and in 1963 when he was a senior at Fairfield High School, he and his classmates went on a field trip to Washington, D.C. She said her father and some of his buddies pushed a roll away bed down the hallway and caused some damage.

“A class clown” is how she described her father.

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He started his career as a deputy for the Butler County Sheriff’s Office in 1966 and worked his way up to rank of captain and jail warden. He was the first officer in the Sheriff’s Office to graduate from the FBI National Academy. Soon after, he organized and trained the first Butler County SWAT team.

He unsuccessfully ran for Butler County Sheriff in the mid-1970s, his daughter said.

In 1983, he was appointed Fairfield Twp. police chief.

Later in his career, he worked at General Electric, Lebanon Correctional Institute and General Motors. He retired from General Motors in 2006, and in 2008 moved to Lake Helen, Fla.

He is survived by his son, Tracy (Linda) May, Haslet, Texas; daughter Tari (Lance) Clayton, Liberty Twp.; grandchildren Tanner May, El Salvador; Katie May (Iwan Llyr), New Zealand; Jacob, Rylan and Ashlyn Clayton, Hamilton; sisters, Lana Kruse and Pamela Long, and nephews Larry Wayne Powell and John May, Jr.

Visitation will be from 9 to 10 a.m. June 2, followed by the celebration of life service at 10 a.m. at Webster Funeral Home, 3080 Homeward Way at Ohio 4 in Fairfield with Pastor Paul Hurst officiating.

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