SIDNEY — The chief deputy of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office announced his candidacy to be the next sheriff. Jim Frye made the announcement Friday afternoon with the courthouse behind him.
“I’ve thought about this for a while,” Republican Jim Frye said after making the announcement in front of his family, friends, co-workers and Shelby County elected officials. “In 2016, the sheriff (John Lenhart) had thought about not running for election. Luckily the sheriff ran.
“This year, it was a hard decision for him to make to not seek re-election,” he said. “It wasn’t a hard decision for me to run. I don’t like politics but I’m a cop and I’m here to help people.”
Frye said he’s excited about running.
“The outpouring of support when I was taking my petitions around was outstanding.”
Frye said he’ll be true to the Republican Party.
“I will support the Republican politicians in our community,” said Frye.
Lenhart announced he wouldn’t be seeking re-election Tuesday.
“I’m very proud of him,” said Lenhart after the announcement. “I’m passing the baton to what I hope is the next sheriff for the county.”
Lenhart said Frye has the experience and cool head to be a good sheriff for the county. He was thankful the elected officials came to the press conference to show their support for Frye.
“This job (sheriff) has been here for a long time. I don’t think the average citizen understands the job. There’s a lot of facets of the job.
“I’ll use an example, if you worked at Honda as a temporary worker, you’re not going to put that person in charge of Honda,” said Lenhart, who feels Frye has all the training and knowledge to serve the county as sheriff.
During the press conference, Frye “thanks God for always lighting my path and keeping me and my family safe.”
He acknowledged his late parents for instilling “in me the importance of public service, a solid work ethic and compassion for all, knowing the risk of public service, as my father made he ultimate sacrifice by giving his life for his country, while living by these very principals.”
Frye thanked his wife, Lori for “being by my side and always supporting me.
“I want to thank my children for turning out to be the great people they are and for the sacrifices they made when I was on duty and sometimes absent in their daily lives.”
“I want to thank Sheriff Lenhart for his years of service to the citizens of Shelby County and the sheriff’s office. Most importantly, I thank him for his endorsement, support and guidance throughout my career,” said Frye.
Frye’s campaign slogan is “Performance over Promises.”
“I will not make promises to the citizens of Shelby County,” said Frye. “Instead it is my intention to demonstrate to them, by my past and future performance.”
A 1980 graduate of Sidney High School, Frye served in the U.S. Marines for eight years. He was a military policeman, patrol and drug dog handler, kennel master, explosive dog handler and an instructor for the explosive K-9 course.
“As an instructor, I trained DOD and civilian FAA police K-9 handlers, and I evaluated dog teams throughout the 33 police departments across the nation that were part of the FFA program,” said Frye.
At the time of his discharge, he was a sergeant in the Marine Corps.
“My family has a strong history of serving in the military. I carry with me a four-leaf clover that my grandfather carried when he was in Iwo Jima,” said Frye.
He was then an Atlanta police officer and was a trainer for the explosive dog and narcotics dog detection teams.
Frye returned to Shelby County where he was a bailiff and probation officer for two years with the Shelby County Common Pleas Court. He provided security for Judge John D. Schmidt during court and was in charge of the supervision program where he supervised approximately 50 felony probationers.
He was a full-time Jackson Center Police officer for 18 years — five years as a patrolman and 13 years as chief of police. He has been chief deputy for 10 years. Prior to being promoted to chief deputy, he served the sheriff’s office as a lieutenant in charge of the detective section. He supervised three detectives and investigated crimes ranging from homicide to petty theft.
“In my current position as chief deputy, I oversee the day-to-day operations of the sheriff’s office, supervising 81 employees, managing a $5 million budget and reporting directly to Sheriff Lenhart,” said Frye.
Frye compared the difference between a weak and strong leader.
“Weak leaders measure success by money, position and power,” he said. “Strong leaders measure success by the difference they have made in other people’s lives and I know I have made differences in the lives of others throughout my career and will continue to be a strong leader.
“As your sheriff, my No. 1 job is to lead and take care of the men and women I am privileged to serve with and to ensure we serve and protect the citizens of Shelby County. We have extremely dedicated employees at the sheriff’s office, who day in and day out serve the citizens of Shelby County in the most professional manner,” he said.
“Rather they work as deputies, detectives, dispatchers, corrections officers or our civilian staff, they are the backbone of the office,” said Frye. “I will continue to support every one of the employees, always putting their safety first, so they may serve the citizens of Shelby County, because if I don’t keep them safe, they can’t keep you safe.”
Frye said he will continue the existing programs in the sheriff’s office such as deputies in schools, the DARE program work contracts with Wilson Health, McLean Township, and Fort Loramie.
Frye said he will work closely with the Shelby County Commissioners to be fiscally accountable for the sheriff’s office budget.
“I will be tough on crime and I especially caution those that prey on our elderly citizens, because if you do, I ensure you that we will come looking for you,” said Frye.
“As your sheriff we will continue to actively investigate drug crimes and to help those seeking help for themselves by continuing our support for the STAR House.”
Frye said he will continue the strong relationships the office as with all entities of the criminal justice system, especially with the courts, Prosecutor Tim Sell, Public Defender Jon Richard and Michele Mumford, clerk of courts.
“The office of sheriff has a rich history and I will continue to stand for those very principals that have made what the office of sheriff is all about,” said Frye. “I will continue to support the United States Constitution, the laws of the state of Ohio, and will continue to support the Second Amendment. I will also continue our support of CCW holders, ensuring they get their CCW and property training.”
Gay Smith allowed Frye to hold his press conference at Gay Smith/Associates real estate’s property at the corner of Main Avenue and Poplar Street.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.