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Sheriff's Office Cuts Deputy Shortage by Half through Innovative Recruitment

June 13, 2024

With the swearing-in of 14 new deputies who completed the Academy in June, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office’s recent shortage in deputies has now been cut by more than half.
 

Like most law enforcement agencies across the nation, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office has faced a deficit in deputies in recent years, with retirements outpacing new hires. The shortage peaked in 2022, with the office down 59 deputies. As of June, that number has been reduced to 28, with a full summer class of cadets already commenced, and another full class expected in the autumn.

Sheriff Fatheree attributes the turnaround to her team’s think-outside-the-box approach to recruitment and outreach. “There were many groups in our community that, for a long time, were overlooked when it comes to recruitment – those days are over,” said the Sheriff.

Fatheree also announced that the office is now paying the tuition of the academy and providing cadets an hourly wage during the training to help eliminate the financial barriers that prevented many from joining.
 

"It’s an investment in their future, it’s an investment in the future of our office, and it’s an investment in the safety of our community. It’s a win-win no matter how you cut it.”

Sheriff's Office Pioneers Approach of Adopting Rescue Dogs to Become K-9s

May 12, 2024
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Sheriff Fatheree and Captain Michelle Wiltrout were featured in the special pet issue of Akron Life Magazine for their pioneering approach of adopting rescue dogs and training them to become K-9s. 


Late last year, the Sheriff approved the adoption of Dottie from Pawsitive Hope Inc. in North Canton. Dottie lives with Captain Wiltrout and is undergoing extensive training to become a narcotics K-9. 

This new approach not only saves a significant amount of taxpayer dollars (the purchase and training of a K-9 can reach well into the $25,000 range), it also rescues a shelter dog and gives it a permanent home!

It is Sheriff Fatheree's hope that other law enforcement agencies will take notice and consider adoption for their own future K-9s.

You can read the article "Innovation, Unleashed" in its entirety here.

Sheriff's Office Investigation Leads to More Arrests in FirstEnergy Bribery Scandal

February 12, 2024

The former chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and two former FirstEnergy executives were indicted for their alleged role in the House Bill 6 scandal following a year-long investigation by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

Sam Randazzo, former PUCO chairman; Chuck Jones, former CEO of First Energy; and Mike Dowling, former First Energy senior vice president of external affairs, face a combined 27 felony counts.

Sheriff kandy Fatheree took part in a press conference alongside the Attorney General announcing the indictments. "The crimes committed by these individuals impacted the pocketbooks of every hard-working Ohioan," said Sheriff Fatheree. "Today, we take another important step in ensuring that justice is served, and that those who took advantage of the public's trust are held accountable."

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Sheriff Re-Launches CCW Workshop Program

January 15, 2024
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Summit County Sheriff Kandy Fatheree and Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announce the return of the CCW Workshop program for the 2024 year. “The initial response was overwhelmingly positive, and we were flooded with calls to host more sessions,” said Sheriff Fatheree. “We quickly realized that there was a strong desire for this knowledge, and we expanded the program for the full 2023 year.”

DEI Efforts Highlighted in National Magazine

August 10, 2023

The efforts of Sheriff Fatheree and her team to expand and improve diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Sheriff's Office recruitment, hiring, and training practices have been highlighted in the national Sheriff & Deputy Magazine. Click below to read:

Sheriff Fatheree Receives Civil Rights Award

July 23, 2023

Sheriff Kandy Fatheree is honored to have been awarded the Civil Rights Outstanding Law Enforcement Executive, Justice by Action award at the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE) Awards Brunch on Sunday, July 23rd, 2023.

NOBLE recognized Sheriff Fatheree’s efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, to better reflect the community it serves. Examples include hiring the first Director of DEI in Sheriff’s Office history, forging new partnerships with houses of worship and community organizations, increasing DEI training for deputies and staff, obtaining grant funding to improve and expand recruitment efforts to attract more women, minorities, and new citizens, and introducing the national Faith & Blue initiative to Summit County – the largest law enforcement-community collaboration in the nation.

Fatheree also received recognition for her advocacy to reform state’s dress code policy for deputies to allow for religious accommodations after her office hired the first Sikh deputy in Ohio history, her efforts to establish a “Step Up” program for inmates with mental health and addiction issues to help reduce recidivism, and her promotion of Captain Donna Nicholas to Chief and Captain Matamba Kaalima to Major, making them respectively the highest ranking woman and African American in Summit County Sheriff’s Office history.

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Sheriff Fatheree featured on PBS series Forum 360

April 25, 2023

Sheriff Fatheree had the pleasure of sitting down with Leslie Ungar of the PBS series Forum 360 to discuss the work of the Summit County Sheriff's Office, her background and goals as Sheriff and the challenges she's overcome, and the work that lies ahead. 

Sheriff Fatheree and Prosecutor Bevan Walsh team up to offer free rides on St. Patrick's Day

March 16, 2023

Sheriff Fatheree and County Prosecutor Sheriff Bevan Walsh have teamed up again for the Arrive Alive program, offering free or reduced-fare rides home for those who have had too much to drink over the holiday weekend. Click below to watch:

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Sheriff Fatheree appointed to National Sheriff's Association Board of Directors

February 10, 2023

Sheriff Fatheree was proudly appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Sheriff's Association last week. 

"At this critical time for our nation, the public is demanding better of law enforcement," said Fatheree. "I welcome this new role with the NSA as an opportunity to bring my vision of fairness, accessibility, inclusion, and reform to the national level.

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Sheriff Fatheree makes Donna Nicholas first
female chief in county history 

December 27, 2022

Sheriff Fatheree promoted Captain Donna Nicholas to the rank of Chief of Corrections today. Chief Nicholas has been with the Sheriff's Office for 27 years. She was its first female Captain, and is now not only the first female Chief in Sheriff's Office history, but in the history of all Summit County law enforcement agencies.

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Sheriff Fatheree swears in her youngest deputy

March 2, 2022

Sheriff Fatheree swore in the youngest deputy of the Summit County Sheriff's Office, 8-year-old Joshua Eastman of Alleghany, Pennsylvania. Joshua has been fighting a rare form of leukemia, but dreams of one day becoming a law enforcement officer. When his story went viral, police departments from across the country began sending Joshua badges and patches. When Sheriff Fatheree learned of his story, she decided to do something special for Joshua. After first sending him a fully customized deputy's shirt and badge, she surprised Joshua by swearing him in as a deputy! Click below to watch:

Sheriff Fatheree swears in highest-ranking African American in county history

Sheriff Fatheree promoted Captain Matamba Kaalima to the rank of Major this week, making him the highest ranking African American law enforcement official in Summit County History. Kaalima has been with the Sheriff's Office for 18 years, and has spent most of that time in corrections, which he considers his passion. He has studied law enforcement and corrections his entire adult life, is a publish author, and enjoys poetry and playing the trumpet in his spare time. 

December 18, 2021
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Sheriff Fatheree featured on Boss Ladies of CLE

December 18, 2021

Sheriff Fatheree was featured on this week's edition of Boss Ladies of CLE from WKYC Channel 3. Click below to watch:

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