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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sheriff swears in new staff members

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sheriff Steve Fenwick (right) issues the oath of office to (from left) assistant matrons Tresha Clearwaters, Vova Johnson, Chief Matron Ashley O'Hair, and Chief Deputy Doug Nally.
The reorganization of the Putnam County Sheriff's Department has begun with an administrative overhaul, as announced by Sheriff Steve Fenwick on Wednesday.

Fenwick has sworn in Col. Doug Nally as chief deputy, a position Nally has held for two previous sheriffs. His main duty is to oversee the scheduling of the deputies and enforcement staff.

"We are putting officers back on the road," Fenwick said, pointing out that road patrols have been pulled from the interstate and redistributed throughout the county. Former chief Deputy Virgil Lanning was re-assigned to road patrol.

In the front office at the sheriff's department, Ashley O'Hair has been appointed chief matron. She will oversee the financial accounting and maintaining records.

Assisting O'Hair in the administration office at the Putnam County Jail will be Tresha Clearwaters and Vova Johnson as assistant matrons. Johnson was moved from part-time into a full-time position.

On Wednesday, the matrons were receiving input on administrative operations from Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton and his chief matron Dee Smiley.

Clay County's offer of assistance has been echoed by sheriffs in several counties. The Putnam County Auditor's Office has also been to the office several times to talk about procedures and the flow of paperwork.

Fenwick said the office changes will benefit the jail division as well.

"The office used to be staffed by five people and now we will have three people," he explained. "One of those other positions was a jail position, so we will now be able to hire another person to help with the jail staffing."

Also concerning the jail division, Fenwick said he will approach the Putnam County Council about moving the merit position he had occupied as jail commander back to the enforcement division to give the department another road officer.

A new jail commander has yet to be appointed.

The sheriff's department has 14 merit deputies, including Fenwick, Nally, detectives Mike Biggs and Patrick McFadden, and 10 road officers.

Fenwick also announced that Deputy Tom Helmer has been appointed captain and moved to the day shift to oversee the daytime road patrols. Sgt. Don Pettit will be in charge of second shift patrols, and Deputy Dwight Simmons has been appointed lieutenant in charge of the late night patrols. Those promotions will be presented to the sheriff's merit board for approval.

The sheriff has also announced that all special deputy privileges are no longer valid and all special badges distributed during a prior administration need to be turned in to the sheriff's department immediately.

Those badges are the property of the sheriff's department.

The Putnam County Sheriff's Department may be contacted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 653-3211. For deputy assistance in emergencies, dial 911.