MT. ORAB – Picking a right hand man to help run your department is never an easy task. A lot of work and thought go into making these tough decisions. With a primary election around that corner that will ultimately yield a new sheriff, one candidate announced he had picked that person.
Sheriff candidate Reggie McKenzie announced this week, if elected to the office of Sheriff, his Chief Deputy would be Mt. Orab Police Officer Josh Black.
“To me it was a no brainer with his experience in law enforcement and other attributes he has,” McKenzie said. “He comes with 30 years of experience in fire, EMS. I think he is going to make a perfect Chief Deputy. He and I have been working together for eight years now. We really do get along and really do mirror each other. There are a lot of things he will bring to the table for me and I will bring to the table for him.”
Earlier this fall in the race, McKenzie said he had not even considered a Chief Deputy because how far off the time table was. He did however say he would want a Chief Deputy who complemented not only his strengths, but would help in areas where he was not an expert. He thinks Black is that person. McKenzie said that Black would play a major role in bridging the gap between law enforcement agencies in the Villages and the Sheriff’s Office.
“We really mirror each other,” McKenzie said. “He has a lot of the character that I hold dear. As far as weaknesses, Josh knows everybody here. I went away for 27 years and came back. I’ve gotten to know quite a few people (in law enforcement). Whoever he doesn’t know I know.”
Most remember Black as a candidate in the 2012 election for Sheriff. He came up short in that election. Rumors spurred that Black would run again in 2016, but after changes in retirement Black elected to not run.
“As you know I ran for Sheriff in 2012 and I want to have the opportunity to change the current status quo of law enforcement in Brown County,” Black said. “That didn’t work out at that time and some things changed with retirements which led me to not run this time. Since that time, it has kind of been a roller coaster for me, a lot of things have changed. Reggie came to me about a week ago and asked if I would be interested if he were elected sheriff. I told him I would think about it for a few days. I decided this would give me a better opportunity than being that Sheriff because I would be more hands on in the office area. I said, absolutely, I’ll do it.”
McKenzie said he is ready to change the status quo of the Sheriff’s Department by offering new leadership and a top down approach to change the culture within the department.
“Leadership has to come from the top down,” McKenzie said. “With my 27 years in the Marine Corp and my background in leadership, being professionally trained in leadership, and Josh’s a natural leader, I think we can direct that. I think we can extract the lack of transparency and bring it back to the community.”
Winning the primary this year ultimately is like winning the general election. With no opposition from the other side, baring thousands of write-in signatures, whoever wins the primary is set to become Sheriff in 2017. McKenzie said if we wins the nomination he would like to begin working with the Task Force to evaluate the criminal justice problems the county is facing.
“I want to make our accessible to the community as much as a I can,” McKenzie said. “People need to know what we are doing and what we are about. We are not an outside agency sitting in the middle of their community. We are here from them. That is what I want to get across to everybody. We are here for Brown County.”