Ronnie Phillips (left) is Scott County's sheriff, while his twin brother Donnie is Scott County's circuit court clerk.

As Ronnie and Donnie Phillips are having their picture taken, Ronnie doesn’t miss an opportunity to chide his brother.

“That will never work,” he says. “You’ve got to smile more.”

If Ronnie is one up at the moment, it won’t last long. Donnie will return fire at the first opportunity, and they’ll be even. And so it will go — until one or the other winds up on the receiving end of his brother’s sense of humor . . . and that won’t take long, either.

This is the side of the Phillips brothers — Scott County’s sheriff and circuit court clerk — that the public sometimes doesn’t see. After all, their profession — law and order — all too often isn’t a laughing matter. But their friends, family and coworkers, who are often on the receiving end of the brothers’ jokes, know this side well. It is the laid-back, laugh-often, personable demeanor that they carried with them during their law enforcement careers — back when they were just beat cops. It endeared them to many of those they came into contact with, even those who were on the wrong side of the law, and helped bolster their efforts when each sought elected office.

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The complete story can be found in the Sept. 7, 2017 print edition of the Independent Herald.

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Ben Garrett is Independent Herald editor. Contact him at bgarrett@ihoneida.com. Follow him on Twitter, @benwgarrett.