Photo wall at Douglas County Sheriff’s Office puts history on display

The new wall puts the office’s history front and center.
A new photo wall is paying tribute to members of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, past and present.
Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 3:28 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Twice a month at the Douglas County Sheriff’s office, 91-year-old retired captain Rex Gruber brings cookies -- and memories.

50 years ago, Rex survived a gun battle with armed suspects.

“They shot at me 37 times and missed me,” Gruber said.

Stories like Rex’s hit the mark with a new wall of history inside the sheriff’s office. In the late 1960′s, Governor Norbert Tieman congratulated Rex on a law protecting deputies’ jobs.

“It saved the deputies from the previous sheriff, and the new sheriff could come in and fire everybody so they would have to go through a board,” Gruber said.

The photo-covered wall displays the evolution of law enforcement within the Douglas County sheriff’s office -- from busting bootleggers to the growth of K-9 teams. Pictures show motorcycles and boats then and now. Deputy uniforms have changed through the years -- and so have the sheriffs.

“So when we have open house, or potential deputies to see is that this department has a long history of serving and being guardians to this community,” said Chief Deputy Wayne Hudson.

Rex retired in 1982 to run for sheriff and lost -- but the wall of memories shows evidence that his influence on the growth of law enforcement will never leave the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

“Although I’m gone, it still feels like I’m part of the sheriff’s office,” Gruber said.

Revolution Wraps produced the photo array. The $3,400 cost was paid out of the sheriff’s recruiting budget.