Solomon To Retire At End Of Term

Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon gets emotional while he addresses the media Friday morning. Solomon announced that he is not seeking re-election this coming fall as the county's sheriff.
By: 
TERESA DOWLING
Staff Writer

After 40 years of serving the residents of Auglaize County, Sheriff Al Solomon announced Friday morning that he will not seek re-election in 2020. The sheriff used an emotional press conference at his office to inform the county that his time as sheriff would end at the conclusion of his 16th year as the leader of the county’s law enforcement. 

After a discussion with his wife, family, friends and other sheriffs, Solomon said he always kept his options open until after the Auglaize County Fair but decided this time would be his last time thinking about retiring.

“Four years ago, after the first thought of not running, I made the decision to run again,” Solomon said. “I did this because things had changed in my life and the love that I had — and still have — for serving the people of this county and the people here in this office. I love this job, I love these people here and I still love serving the public.”

Solomon added that he considered three major things when deciding if he would seek reelection: his health, his age and the time he could spend with his family and grandchildren. The 61-year-old said he wants to still have time to enjoy his retirement and be active. 

The desire to finish out his time at the office comes from advice his predecessor shared with a younger Solomon.

“I remember Sheriff [Larry] Longsworth — the Boss — when he retired, telling me he wanted to enjoy time with his family, kids and grandkids,” recalled Solomon. “A short time after the Boss retired, he became ill and we lost him.”

Last year, Solomon and Longsworth’s wife, Janice, dedicated a tree in honor of the late sheriff who served Auglaize County for a total of 31 years —16 of them as sheriff. 

Now, Longsworth’s successor is also hanging up his hat after 16 years at the top.

“I’d like to say that after 40 years at this office and almost 16 years as sheriff how proud I am that we’ve accomplished the majority of what we set out to do,” Soloman said. “Many thanks goes to previous retired Chief [Deputy Mike] Eberle and current Chief [Deputy Mike] Peterson and Lt. [Doug] Burke for a lot of it.”

Some of the accomplishments Solomon has seen the office achieve include adding a K-9 unit, an Explorer Program, upgrades to SRT equipment, technology upgrades, training increases and dispatch upgrades as well as adding a Citizen’s Academy.

“I still believe that in the position we are in, we can make a positive difference in someone’s life,” Solomon added. “I still have one year left on this term that the people in this office have to put up with me. I will continue to work hard as the sheriff and we still have a lot of things that I, the chief, lieutenant and this office want to accomplish.”

Solomon will also continue in his obligations to the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association, including serving as second vice president for the BSSA board and chairman of the DARE/SRO committee.

With his time coming to an end, Solomon noted that he will do for the next sheriff what has been done for him and that is to offer guidance and advice to whomever comes after him. In addition to that, Solomon said he knows that the other personnel in the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office will do what they can to help their next leader.

“Because of the love of this office and the men and women who work here, I will support whoever wins the 2020 election as our next sheriff,” he said. “I was only successful because of the people who work here and I want to thank the employees who work here and work hard every day. I expect that hard work to continue as I turn over the reins to my successor."

“Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank my wife, Leslie, for her unwavering support and love over the time when I wrestled with this decision,” Solomon said, fighting back tears. “I love you with all my heart.”

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