“It’s still a white male-oriented career, and the harder we work to change, it seems we sometimes take steps backward,” Streck said.
Wilson, who graduated from Dunbar High School and Northwestern University, will lead the sheriff’s office’s day-to-day operations.
“I’m excited. I’m thrilled,” Wilson said. “At the same time, I’m humbled to begin this position.”
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Wilson said he and Streck are like-minded about many issues, including keeping a strong presence in the communities the office serves.
One thing Wilson said he and Streck would like to “tweak” is getting the rank and file more involved so they have a better understanding of the office’s priorities and goals.
“It’s good to lead from the top, but you have to filter that down to your employees,” Wilson said. “That way they can go back to the community and show what we are doing. That way the sheriff doesn’t hold all that weight on his shoulder, but it’s spread out evenly throughout the department.”
At points in his career, Wilson worked undercover for five years, has been in charge of the jail, ran the operations division and leads the SWAT team and the concealed carry licensing program in Montgomery County.
“For me the decision was instantaneous,” Streck said. “I could go on and on about everything that Chief Wilson has been involved with and oversees already.”
Diversity is important, also at the highest levels of an agency, when it comes to recruiting minorities into law enforcement careers, Wilson said.
“First it starts off with a face. Then it starts off with a conversation. Then it starts off with a relationship. That’s what we have to build,” he said. “A face draws them in. A conversation keeps them tuned in and a conversation keeps them connected. That’s something that we want to work on — especially with minorities in the sheriff’s office.”
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The black population of Montgomery County is about 21 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As of Dec. 28, about 15 percent of the sheriff’s 220 civilian positions were filled by African-Americans, who held slightly fewer than 5 percent of its 201 filled sworn positions.
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Also on Tuesday, the new sheriff added to the ranks by swearing in six new deputies, including a minority.
Sworn in as deputies were Kyle Allen, Cameron Barberi, Larry Beasley Jr., Maurice Harris, Jeremiah Hull and Dylan James.
“This office strives to employ a work force that is representative of the community we protect and serve,” said Julie Droessler, the agency’s personnel director.
Droessler said any citizen interested in submitting an application for a position can find more information on the careers tab at www.mcohiosheriff.org or contact Sgt. Shawn Lamb at 937-496-7542 or LambS@mcohiosheriff.org.
Streck was sworn in as sheriff Sunday after being picked by county Republicans to replace Phil Plummer, who won an Ohio House seat in November.