The staff members at the Jackson County Jail rely on one of their co-workers so much that they recently decided to pool their resources and purchase him a car to make sure he can get to work three times a week.

It also helps that this man has spent the past 35 years teaching new jailers the ropes when it comes to dealing with inmates each day.

The car, a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, actually was purchased to celebrate Clyde Davidson’s years of service at the jail.

Over the years, Davidson has won the respect of many of his co-workers through his actions and deeds, jail Commander Charlie Murphy said.

That respect often extends to some of the inmates, Sgt. David Ridlen said.

“He gets more respect than anyone, and we don’t let anybody disrespect him,” Ridlen said.

Ridlen said when he first went to work as a jailer 17 years ago, Davidson trained him.

“He was my sergeant,” he said. “He’s the man.”

Murphy said the respect Davidson has earned from his fellow workers also extends to many of the inmates who would jump in and help Davidson out if the need arose.

Davidson said he can remember an incident in which one inmate in a holding cell was giving him a hard time, and inmates in an adjacent cell asked to be let out so they could help him.

Murphy said Davidson is so well liked by all because of his attitude.

“They don’t make ’em like Clyde anymore,” Murphy said. “When he hits the door, he’s looking for something to do. He wants to work. We miss him when he’s not here. He takes care of all the visitation, the preacher visits and a lot of other things.”

Visiting days for family and friends are Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons, and pastoral visits are Wednesday afternoons.

On the very few occasions when Davidson has not been there for visitation, his workers have not been very happy about it, Murphy said.

“Because one of them has to come out here and do it,” Murphy said in reference to the lobby where visitors are checked in and out. “They really appreciate what Clyde does.”

Read the full story in Tuesday’s Tribune and online at tribtown.com.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.