Auglaize sheriff surprise pick as president of state association

By J Swygart -

WAPAKONETA – Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon has been named president of the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association for 2020, a surprise move orchestrated by the association’s board of directors in honor of Solomon’s 40 years of service to the sheriff’s office that will conclude at year’s end.

Solomon, who took over from former Auglaize County Sheriff Larry Longsworth in January of 2005, announced last summer that his current term in office would be his last. He said at that time he would retire at the end of 2020.

After Solomon announced his retirement plans, the BSSA board of directors held an executive meeting to have him voted in as president for his final year in office. Solomon was sworn in as the 2020 BSSA president on Nov. 19 at the annual conference in Sandusky.

Solomon said it required to board to break with tradition, which calls for a systematic annual rise through the various association offices before becoming president, to clear the president’s chair in 2020.

The selection came as a surprise for Solomon. “It is a great honor and I really appreciate it,” he said earlier this week.

He singled out Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz, Lorain County Sheriff Phil Stammitti and Hardin County Sheriff Keith Everhart, each of whom took a step back to allow Solomon his moment in the sun, as key players in the unexpected honor.

“It was a pretty emotional day,” Solomon said.

As president of the association for 2020, Solomon will oversee sheriff’s of all Ohio’s 88 counties. He will also represent the BSSA at the National Sheriff’s Conference held in June.

Some of the roles and responsibilities Solomon will have as president is appointing committee chairmen, testifying before state legislators and representing the BSSA on the advisory board pertaining to state and local government.

Throughout his years as sheriff of Auglaize County, Solomon has played a large role with the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association, including stints as a Northwest Sheriff Director and as chairman of the association’s DARE committee. He has also served as treasurer and secretary of the BSSA.

By J Swygart