Sherrif, Pratt County Sherrif's Office Retired
Vernon Chinn was born and raised in Pratt, Kansas. Upon graduating from Pratt High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served one combat tour of duty in Vietnam with an artillery unit on the DMZ from 1969-1970. Following his military service, Chinn married and pursued his lifetime dream of ranching. Through that career path, he managed ranches in Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas from 1971-1991.
In 1991 Chinn was offered a position with the Pratt County Sheriff’s Office. After serving 9 years as a patrol deputy, he was elected Sheriff of Pratt County in 2000. As Sheriff, Chinn was involved in many critical incidents, including serving as the director of all law enforcement operations for a month following the devastating EF-5 tornado that hit Greensburg, Kansas in 2007. His fellow Kansas Sheriffs recognized his leadership in that role by naming him Sheriff of the Year. Throughout his law enforcement career, Chinn has spoken in front of many audiences including law enforcement, civic organizations, churches, and schools. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
Chinn retired as Sheriff in 2017. He still resides in Pratt, where he enjoys life with his wife Betty. They have 3 children and 10 grandchildren. He also continues to speak to various groups on law enforcement, media, and community issues.