JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (FOX 56) – Flags are at half-staff throughout Jessamine County as the community mourns the loss of its longtime sheriff. Friends and colleagues said Kevin Corman loved his community, leaves a legacy of commitment, and that Nicholasville has lost its best friend.

“He was a human being, and he was a friend, and he was a sheriff all rolled into one,” Jessamine County Judge/Executive David West told FOX 56. The last memory of Kevin Corman is one of a “true public servant.”

“He always picked the phone up for anybody in the community,” former Nicholasville Mayor Russ Meyer said.

“I think Kevin answered his phone more than anybody I had ever seen, it was usually somebody that was in distress and he always reached back out and tried to find a way to assist,” West said.

Elected in 2006, Corman was the drive behind a lot of change in the sheriff’s department. West said during Corman’s tenure the department created a drug task force, a K9 unit, and recently began renovating the department’s vehicle fleet.

“I think we’ll miss Kevin, I saw a Ford Explorer coming down the road today and I readied my hand to wave and then it hit me that’s not Kevin and I think we’ll go through that as a community,” West said.

“When you got a hug from Sheriff Kevin Corman you knew it. That’s exactly right. It was a big bear hug, it was authentic it was warm,” Rep. Kim King (R – Harrodsburg) told FOX 56.

In 2018, Corman worked with Rep. Kim King on House Bill 74, a bill to track and return stolen goods. Her condolences were among a number of those that poured from officials on social media.

Meyer remembered a sheriff respected beyond county lines. Corman served as President of the State Sheriff’s Association during Meyer’s term.

“Kevin got up 365 days a year and put on a shirt that said “Kevin Corman, Jessamine County Sheriff” on it and he served the people of Jessamine County 365 days a year, 24 hours a day,” Meyer said.

West says Corman was brought back to Nicholasville from the state medical examiner’s office in Frankfort. The Jessamine County Sheriff’s Office was closed Monday but posted on their Facebook page funeral arrangements will be announced soon. Corman was 64 years old.

Last week, Corman was unseated in his race for re-election when he was defeated by Kevin Grimes in the primary. Grimes will not be sworn in until next year. Until then, Jessamine County Judge/Executive David West has appointed Lt. Anthony Purcell to fill out the remainder of Corman’s term as Sheriff.