New Clark County chief deputy: ‘Your word is your bond’

The new chief deputy for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office has two big goals: improve communication with the Springfield Police Division and restore trust with the community after allegations of internal misconduct.

Jeffrey Meyer took his oath of office Monday morning.

Meyer previously served the Springfield Police Division for 26 years in various roles, including lieutenant, before taking the position with the sheriff’s office.

He said he will use his background with to restore collaboration between the police department and the sheriff’s office.

“There’s been some bridges that have been burned between the two organizations over the years,” he said. “I hope I’m able to bring the communication back and be able to work with the Springfield Police Department better than what the previous administration was.”

During the ceremony, Clark County Sheriff Deb Burchett praised Meyer for the honesty and integrity she said he will bring to the office.

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Meyer replaces former Chief Deputy Travis Russell, who resigned March 23 after allegations that he provided questions and answers to two deputies before interviews for detective positions.

Russell had been second-in-command at the office since January 2017, when Burchett took office.

In a previous interview, Burchett said the investigation would be focused on the deputies who allegedly received the questions and answers to the interview material.

Burchett declined to name the deputies involved, but in a grievance, deputies Josh Cumby and Nick Moody are listed as those who received the questions and answers.

“If you don’t have honesty or integrity as a police officer, then you don’t have anything,” Meyer said. “Your word is your bond, and if you can’t be trusted — you’re not worth the position.”

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Meyer also acknowledged the challenges he faces because of the current internal investigation.

“It’s kind of tarnished the sheriff’s department, and I hope I’m able to bring back the confidence in the department,” Meyer said.

Maj. Gary Cox with the sheriff’s office said that the investigation into the allegations is being handled by two deputies from the Shelby County and Darke County sheriff’s offices. Cox said when the internal investigation will be completed is up to the deputies from those offices, and no criminal investigation has been conducted at this time.

He was not able to provide any updates on the investigation — except that it’s ongoing — in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation.

Cox and Burchett said they will release the findings of the investigation once it has concluded.

Meyer is a graduate of Shawnee High School in Springfield and attended Clark State Community College and Wright State University.

He said he will rely on his community ties to be successful in his new position.

“I have connections on the police department, outside the police department, and I’ll be able to draw on those connections to assist us,” Meyer said. “It’s a big responsibility, but I’m ready to take it over.”

Staff Writer Parker Perry contributed to this article.


STAYING WITH THE STORY

The Springfield News-Sun is committed to coverage of allegations of impropriety regarding a Clark County Sheriff’s Office promotion procedure.

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