Chief Deputy

Recent events have showed law enforcement officers in our area do not exactly have cushy jobs. They have the difficult, sometimes dangerous, job of serving and protecting the rest of us. Wood County residents received some good news, then, when Sheriff Ken Merritt announced he had chosen Capt. M.F. Smith to serve as the next chief deputy.

Smith replaces Shawn Graham, who will become police chief in Williamstown next month. Anyone familiar with Graham’s efforts knows Smith has his work cut out for him, in stepping into the position. But Smith appears to be fully up to the challenge.

It is quite an endorsement, and one with which Wood County residents can identify, when Merritt says “If something needs to be taken care of … all (Smith) has to do is know about it and it’s done.”

Graham also speaks highly of Smith, calling him one of the people on whom he could depend during his own time as chief deputy.

Reliability, hard work, and an attitude on the job that earns the respect of colleagues are all character traits that seem to be rarer and rarer these days. But by all accounts, Smith has them in abundance and is ready to put them to even more good use as chief deputy.

He humbly reacted to the news of his appointment with surprise and appreciation, but said he was looking forward to achieving his goal to “make the sheriff’s office as good as we can.”

Smith’s steady hand and can-do work ethic should be a comfort to Wood County residents, who will continue to be served by the best the sheriff’s department has to offer.

Best of luck, then, to Smith, as he takes on the challenges that will come as the county’s new chief deputy.