continued from A1 that in his dual roles as outgoing sheriff and county Republican chairman, he is recommending that Chief Deputy Rob Streck be the county’s next sheriff.
Tom Young, the county GOP executive committee’s 1st Chairman, said the proper legal process for replacing the sheriff will be followed. But, he said, if Plummer said Streck is the pick, “that’s it.”
Young also said transition- ing leaders can be similar in private business as in pub- lic office.
“You inherit a staff, you create your own priorities and you have to deal with all the other elected officials and so forth. It comes with the territory. How you do that is entirely up to you,” Young said. “Rob Streck, he’s a true professional. He’s young and energetic and he’s had a vast array of experience in the sheriff ’s office since he’s been there.”
Streck was not available for comment.
The sheriff ’s office controls the Montgomery County Jail, patrols unincorporated areas, registers sex offenders, runs multijurisdictional crime task forces a nd provides secu- rity for the courts, among other responsibilities.
“It’s rewarding that the citizens have faith in me,” Plummer said of his election after 30 years in the sheriff ’s office. “I think I did a pretty good job for them as a sheriff for the past 10 years. It was a good run.”
A year of change
Plummer said Maj. Daryl Wilson will rise to chief dep- uty — the highest position for a minority in the office’s history. Plummer said he didn’t know if Streck had decided if a current captain would rise to major.
“That’s a good mix,” Plummer said of Streck and Wilson. “Daryl knows the jail. He knows operations.”
MontgomeryCounty Commissioner Debbie Lieberman said 2018 saw some change among county elected offi- cials when Greg Brush left as Clerk of Courts and county recorder Willis Blackshear died.
She said the county will adjust in 2019 to a new c om- missioner, a relatively new re c order, a new cou nty administrator, three new judges and a new sheriff, among other positions.
“This last year was filled with some changes,” Lieber- man said. “But now there’s going to be quite a bit more. ... We’re just hoping that we can provide the continuity.”
A decade as sheriff
Plummer was promoted from chief deputy to sher- iff in 2008 when Dave Vore re s igned. Plummer was appointed in July and won that fall’s election.
Plummer said he felt he improved police-community relations and that work- ing with area faith leaders helped when other cities had large demonstrations over perceived mistreatment of minorities.
The sheriff disciplined multiple employees over so-called racist text messages and he said he worked to improve relations with the NAACP.
“We all stuck together to work on problems,” he said.
Leaving office, sort of
Plummer said that until he resigns, he will be in the office every day after a trip to help his son recover from surgery.
He said he will miss his hundreds of employees.
“They did a tremendous job. They’re just warriors. I’m going to hate to leave those people,” Plummer said. “We did the best we could with the resources we had.”
Plummer said he will continue to help coach Vanda- lia Butler High School wrestlers, stay on local committees and maybe even work for Streck.
“My plan is to stay on as a reserve deputy so I can volunteer and kind of do some drug work for them so I don’t lose all my contacts there,” he said. “It depends how much time I have.”
He said his patch and badge would change and that he won’t be in charge.
“I’ll stay out of the way,” Plummer said. “If they need my advice I’ll give it to them. It’s going to be their show.”
A cop in the statehouse
Preble County Sheriff Michael Simpson, the president of the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association, said a sitting sheriff hasn’t been elected to the statehouse in decades.
“I think it’s a start. It’s a voice,” said Simpson, who expects to continue as chair of the association’s legislative committee. “It’s more than we’ve got now. I’m pretty excited about it, actually.
“It’s a friend that we can call and say here — here’s the issues we’re dealing with — and Phil’s going to know about them.”
Plummer said with Dave Yost elected as Ohio’s attor- ney general and Mike DeWine elected as governor that law enforcement resources may be increased.
“If county jails are going to turn into prisons, then we need the resources prisons have,” Plummer said. “With my grassroots experience, I know what’s needed and they’ll listen to me.”
“There’s no one agency that can do it by themselves,” Simpson said. “We need to partner where we can. So I think his task forces have been successful over there.”
Plummer said he plans to “stay in his lane” as far as his legislativeagenda, which will include fighting for law enforcement resources.
He said more mental health and drug addiction resources are needed, along with better oversight of how treatment money is spent. He will support criminal justice reform, and he noted that the failed Issue 1 pushed by “Californians” gained some traction because the legislature didn’t properly address lower-level drug possession crimes related to addiction.
“I think people are realizing it’s more of a disease than a crime,” he said. “Of course, the ancillary crimes have got to be addressed through the criminal justice system. Just putting these people in the jail doesn’t fix anything. So we need more detox centers.” Contact this reporter at 937225-6951 or email Mark. Gokavi@coxinc.com.