Voters elected Russell Martin to serve another four years as the Delaware County sheriff last week, and Martin said he’s looking forward to his next term.
On Election Day, 89,999 voters selected Martin to serve in the role, as he has done since June 2012.
Martin said Monday that his first term was about “getting the ship upright,” and his second term, which began in 2017 after he was elected in 2016, was about improving the office and its culture.
“The important thing is continuing the professionalism that we are establishing in the office and creating the culture that, I believe at this point we are recognized as one of the finest sheriff’s offices in the state of Ohio,” Martin said.
According to Martin, he reorganized the office over the past four years to create more leadership roles and checks and balances within the office.
“We have promoted and trained more supervisors in the last several years with the intent of creating a more significant layer of accountability, auditing, and protection for both the men and women who do this job and for the community, and that’s vital,” Martin said.
He added the office has hired a lot of new faces over the past four years.
“We’ve hired a lot of new deputies as a result of the growth in the county, and we’ve had retirements, which means our office is changing with younger deputies who benefit from more supervision, instruction, and assistance on the job,” Martin said.
Looking ahead, Martin said he wants to continue building a positive culture in his next term, including accreditation.
“We’re always working on building and encouraging a professional culture,” Martin said. “We want to see the office become accredited. When we do that, we’ll be one of the only sheriff’s offices to become accredited.”
Martin said his other main goal is to get a new facility for the office, which is currently spread out across several locations in the county. Martin hopes that the former Delaware Area Career Center North Campus, which was purchased by Delaware County, will serve as the new office.
“(I) want to work with the county commissioners to get a new facility built for the men and women who work for the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office,” Martin said. “(Our) facilities are antiquated and spread out, and I think the time is right on the Bixby campus to build a new sheriff’s office that will meet the needs and demands of the office for the next three decades.”
Martin said he’s thankful for the voters’ support as he heads into his third term.
“It’s an honor to serve in this county now for almost 40 years in law enforcement,” he said. “Sometimes I jokingly say, as I’ve run unopposed for three consecutive terms, I’m unsure if I’m doing a good job or that nobody else wants it. At the end of the day, I’m surrounded by great people. I work in a great county, and I continue to have the loving support of a wonderful wife and I still enjoy what I do.
“The office of the elected sheriff in Ohio is a partisan position, but at the end of the day, I hope the people in this county see me as the people’s sheriff,” Martin added.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.