Today I am announcing that I will not seek re-election as Wayne County Sheriff in 2012.
After 15 years as sheriff, I have decided to devote my attention to my wife, Toni, and my family. For nearly 40 years, I have worn a badge, carried a gun, and protected my community. I started in 1973 as a night-shift jailer at the "old" Wayne County Jail where, each night, there were about 50 prisoners under my care. Soon, then-Sheriff James Frost promoted me to road officer. There I learned law enforcement from the bottom up, patrolling the county roads, resolving disputes, and solving crimes. In 1986, I joined the Wayne County Common Pleas Adult Probation Department as a probation officer. In 1996, I successfully ran for the office of Wayne County Sheriff; winning re-election in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
When I became sheriff, there was a "new" jail that housed over a hundred prisoners but a five-year backlog of criminal defendants awaiting room to serve their sentence. The problem became a crisis when courts decided that anyone waiting five years could be excused from serving their lawfully imposed sentence. Drawing on my experience as a probation officer, I created the Discipline and Rehabilitation Center, otherwise known as Pay to Stay. For 10 years, we saved taxpayers millions of dollars in the cost of housing prisoners while giving first-offenders a second chance to keep their jobs and improve themselves through intense innovative programming that they attended in the evenings.
I am also proud of the work that I was able to accomplish in bringing the problem of bullying to the forefront. For eight years, I relentlessly pursued federal funding for an anti-bullying program to the schools in Wayne County. That program continues to enjoy success and is a model for anti-bullying programs around the country.
Law enforcement remained a priority for me: during my tenure, I worked around the clock with the capable men and women in my office to solve every homicide that occurred in Wayne County. I am proud to say that every case was referred to the prosecutor's office, and every case resulted in a conviction.
During my terms as sheriff I have been honored to serve this county alongside the excellent employees of this office. For over 10 years I have served as chairman and vice chairman of several state and multi-state boards. Two of which are: the Ohio Peace Officers Training Commission, which oversees how all peace officers in Ohio are trained. And secondly, being the Middle Atlantic Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network (MAGLOCLEN) which assists the law enforcement communities across this nation with a criminal intelligence network. I further was directly associated with Fight Crime: Invest in Kids and Wired Safety which led to several occasions I testified for national law enforcement in front of Congressional committees in Washington, D.C.
The office of sheriff began in 1812 and is one of the oldest elected offices in Ohio; next year we will celebrate 200 years of the elected county sheriff. I am proud of my career in law enforcement and of my accomplishments while serving four terms in office. I wish to thank everyone I met along this journey.
Thomas G. Maurer
Wayne County Sheriff
Published: August 16, 2011