Miami County’s new sheriff is no stranger to the department staff or the public.
David Duchak of Troy was sworn in as sheriff Dec. 28 following his election in the Nov. 8 general election.
He had been chief deputy for former Sheriff Charles Cox for several years. Cox died Nov. 10, weeks before he planned to retire at year’s end after 28 years as sheriff.
Duchak received the oath of office from Tony Kendell, county prosecutor, as his wife, Sheri Duchak, held a Bible and looked on. Among those seated nearby was Lynn Cox, the wife of Sheriff Cox.
"I can't thank Sheriff Cox, his wife, Lynn, and his family enough," Duchak said. "He taught us all a lot. We will carry on what he taught us to do."
Kendell said he had “great confidence” in Duchak. “We are fortunate as citizens of Miami County to have him as our new sheriff,” Kendell said.
Sheriff’s office deputies, correction officers and other staff along with county elected officials, friends and family filled Judge Christopher Gee’s courtroom for the swearing in first of Duchak. He, in turn, swore in his staff members.
"There are 20 new sheriffs that are being sworn in in the state of Ohio. I am probably the luckiest one, in my opinion, because we have such a greatly trained staff," he said following the ceremony.
Duchak said he would name his chief deputy the first week of the new year.
Among that person’s first tasks would be looking into the purchase of vests with rifle plates to better protect deputies when responding to calls that potentially could have rifle gunfire. Ballistic vests do not stop those shots, he said.
“That is one of the sheriff’s primary jobs is to provide safety not only to the citizens of Miami County, but our officers,” Duchak added.
Among the biggest challenges the office faces are heroin/opiate problem, he said.
“We have a very strong heroin coalition that was formed a year ago in this county. We are doing everything we can at the local level,” Duchak said. “We are hopeful that at some point the federal government gets a little more involved in securing the borders which is where all of the heroin is coming over.”
Duchak was elected sheriff after defeating three other Republicans in the March primary election followed by a successful race against former chief deputy Joe Mahan in November. Mahan ran as an independent.
The Duchaks live in Troy and have a daughter and a son.