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Candidate for Seneca County sheriff: Fred Stevens

Fred Stevens, who has served as chief of Tiffin Police Department for eight years, is to appear on the Republican Primary Election ballot as a candidate for Seneca County sheriff on March 17.

According to Stevens, he has worked on a multi-million dollar budget, has participated in union negotiations, has written and implemented policies and procedures and has handled critical incidents.

“I’ve done public service since I was 17 years old,” he said.

If elected, Stevens’ chief deputy would be Detective Chuck Boyer, who has been the unit commander of Seneca County Drug Task Force — METRICH Enforcement Unit for more than 20 years.

Stevens spent four years in active duty Army service, three years in the Army Reserve and three years in Ohio Military Reserve. He served in Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010.

Stevens had been a juvenile detention officer at Wood County Juvenile Detention Center, was a corrections officer and transport officer at Erie County Sheriff’s Office, was a part-time police officer at Marblehead Police Department, was a part-time chief in Republic and attended the FBI National Academy.

Stevens started his full-time job at Tiffin Police Department in 1993 and has worked as a patrol officer, sergeant and patrol lieutenant. He served as Tiffin Police Department’s interim chief and has served as its chief for eight years.

Stevens said he felt it’s a good time to step forward and do something for public service again.

He said he feels a qualified person needs to lead the position from Day 1, and it shouldn’t be on-the-job learning experience. That person needs to have the training, education and experience to go when they’re sworn in on the first day, he said.

Stevens said he feels that as a resident of Seneca County, he wants the best qualified candidate to lead the office, help reduce liability and move it in a positive direction.

“I have five commitments that I would like to bring out there,” he said.

The commitments are to community, professionalism, fiscal responsibility, quality of life issues and accessibility and accountability.

Stevens said he would not get rid of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement contract, would not get rid of village contracts and would not change the way that some of the jail employees are allowed to work at some of the other villages.

Stevens said he wants to move the sheriff’s office forward with new ideas, vision and leadership.

Bureau of Adult Detention does inspections at the jail, and Seneca County is failing 30 or 40 of the standards each year, he said.

There have been three lawsuits against the sheriff’s office in nine years, he said.

Stevens said another area of positive change he would bring is in an evaluation process. He said he knows retired deputies and retired correction officers who worked there their entire career and never had an evaluation.

He questioned how an employee would know where the standards are.

“How do you know where you rate … unless you’re evaluated,” he said.

Stevens said he loves Tiffin and Seneca County. He said the 27 years he has lived here is the longest he has lived anywhere in his life.

Stevens said he thinks it’s time for him to “exit stage left.”

“Let somebody else improve on what I’ve done here. … I will get along with that (new police chief),” he said.

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