More than 50 of Ohio’s 88 sheriffs attended the inauguration of Ohio’s 70th governor, Mike DeWine.
They came from every part of the state.
“[His speech was] typical Mike DeWine, I think,” said Muskingum County Sheriff and Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association president Matt Lutz. “We’ve had a great working relationship with him as our attorney general, and to see him coming in as governor and talking about unity and talking about building things and having it grow for the future, it’s just great things from Mike DeWine.”
Republican or Democrat the sheriffs seemed to like what he had to say.
“I thought it was spot on,” said Stark County Sheriff George Maier. “[I’m] really excited about the opportunity about uniting and working together for a safer Ohio.”
The Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association advocates for sheriff’s offices and gives county law enforcers a forum to address lawmakers and push for positive changes in the criminal justice system.
They’re hoping Governor DeWine’s background in law enforcement will help facilitate a good working relationship.
“I know it will,” said BSSA executive director Bob Cornwell. “Mike has always worked well with us in the past. I’ve worked with him for over 40 years.”
Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson is the chairman of the BSSA’s legislative committee.
“I think you go all the way back to when he was Green county prosecutor. He served as the attorney general of Ohio, and now governor, so he’s going to be ahead of the curve tremendously for what it takes for law enforcement in Ohio to effectively do their jobs and the resources they need,” said Simpson.
“I think we will have the same goals in line in both the governor and the sheriffs of Ohio. We will look forward to the criminal justice reform.” Cornwell added.
Issues on the forefront: the drug epidemic and jail overcrowding.
Maier said, “Obviously we continue to battle the opioid crisis here in Ohio, much like all across this country. We’re really excited about all of the opportunities that might be ahead of us and helping us combat the issues in our communities.”
“Obviously criminal justice reform is going to be a big topic here in Columbus,” said Simpson. “I think jail overcrowding is involved in that criminal justice reform. The continued opioid issue, the meth issue across Ohio, so there’s a whole host of things that we need to get to work on and try to bring more solutions, more resources to the table for all of law enforcement but specifically Ohio’s 88 sheriffs.”