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Jail History of Stark County
Past Stark County Sheriffs
History of the Sheriff
Why an office and not a department
Sheriffs of America's Past
Purpose of the Stark County Sheriff's Office
Duties of the Stark County Sheriff's Office
Not everyone makes the grade
Patrol  Duties
Patrol Statistics
Patrol Staff
Patrol Operations
Divisions of the Stark County Sheriff's Office

Related web pages
Some interesting facts and information about county jails and how the Stark County Jail measures up for the citizens of Stark County
Deputy Awards Program

Jail History of Stark County, Canton, Ohio:
Year 1810.  The first jail for Stark County was located at the corner of Market and Sixth Street.  It was in the cellar of the Green Tree Inn.

Year 1811.  The County Commissioners rented the upper story of a home owned by Daniel Foron for jail purposes.  The rent was $1.00 per month.

Year 1814.  A log structure was built  for a jail and was located at Market and Third Street.

Year 1831.  For the cost of $3,600.00 a new jail was built at Cleveland Avenue and Fourth Street, SW.

Early 1870's.  Another jail was built, this one on Courthouse Square. 

Year 1894.  The Stark County Workhouse was built at Maple Avenue and 12th Street, NE.

Year 1965.  The present Jail was completed at 4500 Atlantic Blvd., NE, Canton, Ohio 44705.

Year 1989.  An Inmate Services Wing was added.  

 Year 1995.   Minimum Security Housing Unit was added. 

The rated capacity of the Jail is 379 inmates.  329 males and 50 females.

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year Sheriff   year Sheriff   year Sheriff
1809-1811 Joseph McGuin   1857-1860 Samuel Beatty   1919-1922 Milo W Cathon
1811-1813 Thomas C Shields   1861-1862 Daniel Sayler   1923-1926 Charles W Kirk
1814   John Patton   1863-1866 Peter Chance   1927-1931 Edward Gibson
1815   D.L. McClure   1867-1870 R.A. (Al) Dunbar   1932-1933 Roscoe Oberlin
1816-1819 Moses Andrews   1871-1874 William Baxter   1934-1935 George A Daily
1820-1825 John Augustine   1875-1880 John P rauch   1936-1941 Joseph T Nist
1826-1827 Timothy Reed   1881-1884 Henry Alterkruse   1942-1949 Richard R France
1828-1829 John Casky   1884-1885 James Lee   1950-1959 Harry W Grossglaus
1830-1832 Henry Guise   1886-1890 Augustus Leininger   1959-1967 Wilton L Hine
1833-1836 George  N Webb   1891-1893 Charles A Krider   1967-1980 George Papadopulos
1837-1840 D. Raffensperger   1894-1897 Hiram Doll   1981-1984 Robert C Berens
1841-1844 John Brandon   1898-1901 John J Zaiser   1985-1992 J Babe Stearn
1845-1846 Henry Shanafelt   1902-1905 Frank McKinney   1993-1999 W Bruce Umpleby
1847-1850 George N Webb   1906-1910 R Frank Wilson   1999-2013 Timothy A Swanson
1851-1854 Peter Deshong   1911-1914 Adam W Oberlin   2013 George T Maier
1855-1856 R.A. (Al) Dunbar   1915-1918 Frank K Norwood      

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We can trace to England the name "Sheriff" to the terms "shire reeve" which means the King's representative in the county.  The word "Sheriff" was formally used by the Anglo-Saxon King Cnut (1017-1035) in a letter he wrote from Rome in 1027.

This office is significant, as a matter of fact it was one of the first county offices established in the United States.  Thomas Jefferson wrote in his The Value Of Constitutions, "the Office of Sheriff is the most important of all executive offices of the county."

On September 1, 1788 Colonel Ebenezer Sproat was appointed Sheriff of Washington County by Governor Arthur St. Clair of the Northwest Territory.  Washington county at that time covered all of eastern Ohio from the Ohio River to Lake Erie.

After Ohio became a state only three offices were filled through the electoral process and one of these was the office of Sheriff.  The Office of Sheriff is specifically named in the first two Ohio Constitutions as being a required elected office in each county.  Chapter 311 of the Ohio Revised Code is titled SHERIFF, and now covers this office.

Until 1935 the Office of Sheriff was for only a two-year term with the limitation that they may only serve a total of four years out of every six years.

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The Office of Sheriff is the only elected law enforcement office in the United States.  This is due to the fact that early on our ancestors realized that this position of trust and great power was needed and should be filled with an individual who was elected and would serve the best interests of the community.

The very foundation of our country rests on elections in a free democracy.  In your community the sheriff is your representative in law enforcement.  Can you image that members of congress or your senators are appointed by civil service tests.  The President of our country is elected every four years on the premise that "One voice one vote" and as such has provided for the individual participation of each of our citizens since the beginning of this nation.

Sheriffs can point out that if the public is not satisfied with their performance, they can be voted out of office.

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Lawrence Washington, grandfather of President George Washington
Augustine Washington, father of President George Washington
President Theodore Roosevelt, Deputy Sheriff for Billings County, Montana 
Sheriffs of the Wild West:
- Wyatt Earp
- Wild Bill Hickok
- Bat Masterson
- Pat Garret

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  1998 1999 2000 2001
Average daily population 394 437 378 365
Bookings per year 10,652 11,092 10,319 10,389

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PROTECTS OUR COMMUNITY by patrolling nearly 1,000,000 miles of roadways annually?
PROVIDES DRUG EDUCATION for our school age children through the DARE program and community outreach programs?
PROVIDES DEPUTIES to five school districts to promote school safety and provide positive role models for the students?
PROVIDES SECURITY for our courts and county offices? >
PROTECTS OUR SENIOR CITIZENS from being victimized and helps keep them safe?
PROVIDES ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL of hazardous materials and illegal dumping?
PROVIDES A LITTER PROGRAM utilizing inmate trusties to pick up trash along the highways?
PROVIDES A CITIZENS ACADEMY for the members of the community to learn more about their Sheriff's Office
AND is charged with the responsibility of protecting us, as individuals, and our precious families.

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The Sheriff's responsibilities are far greater than just keeping the public peace!

-jail security, operations and the confinement of 380 prisoners, and the supervising of inmates to do the interior and exterior maintenance of the jail, the grounds, the laundry and the serving / clean-up of meals.

- patrolling, investigation of crimes, accident investigations, security, and civil process service, as well as other basic law enforcement services to over 370,000 Stark County citizens, covering 2,000 miles of federal, state, county and township highways and roads.

- direct contact with county fire services, paramedics and hospitals,
and the ability to warn citizens through cable TV of weather or other area-wide emergencies.

registering of sex offenders, and maintaining a List of all classes of sex offenders which are published on this web site.   Stark County Sex Offender Links

Deputies in the Operations Division are responsible for
- executing court issued warrants from all Stark County jurisdictions, as well as from federal and state law enforcement agencies.

In addition,
Stark County deputies
- transport over 3,500 to 4,000 prisoners yearly
to various county courts as well as to state institutions.

- provide drug education and safety awareness to school children and parents through a variety of grant-sponsored programs as well as the Jail House R . O . C . (Realities of Crime) Program which gives school-age youngsters a chance to observe how inmates live in a secured environment if they choose to violate the law.

-are responsible for the dispatching of emergency calls to their own deputies as well as to 13 other law enforcement agencies, with a link of communications to various federal and state law enforcement agencies.

- maintain the Sheriff's Emergency Response Team
(SERT) consisting of specially trained hostage negotiators, dive team and special weapons team.

- maintain the Corrections Emergency Response Team
(CERT) who are specially trained in cell extractions, riot control and jail emergencies.

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Few of us are aware that the Stark County Sheriff's Office requires its officers to be the "best officer one can be".  In order to achieve that, the Sheriff's Office has a hiring system that requires potential officers to meet rigid qualifications.  That means each candidate must pass a lie detector test, a psychological test, a background check, drug tests and a physical. Not just anyone can join the Stark County Sheriff's Office... an average of only 8 of every 100 applicants passes all requirements.

        Because finding qualified candidates is difficult, it is often necessary to pay overtime to maintain the level of service required by Stark County citizens.  Maintaining the Sheriff's Office at a quality level, one that Stark County residents can be proud of, is an expensive endeavor.  Recognizing that and supporting the need to continue this quality will help to take Stark County into the new millennium is a safe and secure manner.


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Ohio Revised Code 311.07 "Each sheriff shall preserve the public peace and cause all persons guilty of any breach of the peace, within the Sheriff's knowledge or view, to enter into recognizance with sureties to keep the peace and to appear at the succeeding term of the court of common pleas, and the sheriff shall commit such persons to jail in case they refuse to do so"

With this responsibility the Stark County Sheriff's Office has a Patrol function with which to enforce the laws of the State of Ohio.

Stark County has a population of 378,098 of which approximately 170,000 are provided direct law enforcement assistance, whereby the Sheriff's Office provides services in Stark County to the largest number of citizens.

The Sheriff's Office provides 12 of the 17 townships direct law enforcement services.  If any village, township or city does not have police protection it will be provided by the Sheriff's office.

Radio communication services are provided for 13 law enforcement agencies in addition to our own.  with over 150,000 inquires into the Law Enforcement Automated Network (LEADFS) each year.

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In 2002 approximately 76,000 calls were dispatched for service
Traffic Fatalities 10
Traffic Accidents 2,666
Arrests 4,227
Citations/Summons 7,682
Incidents 15,498

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The Sheriff's Office Patrol staff are trained law enforcement professionals and are certified by the Ohio Peace Officers Training Commission.  the staff is made up of:
Deputy Sheriffs
Communication Technicians

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Besides patrol operations there are other activities or functions within this section.  They are:
Administrative / Background Investigations
Communications (STARCOM)
COPS In Schools / DARE
Investigations / Litter Control
METRO Narcotics
S.E.R.T. (Sheriff's Emergency Response Team)
V.A..W.A. (Violence Against Women Act Investigators)

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  Divisions of the Stark County Sheriff's Office

  • Administrative Services Division The Administrative Services Division provides the administrative support that is necessary to carry out the organizational mission and goals of the Sheriff's Office

  • Operations Division The Operations Division is responsible for providing basic police services for townships and villages.  The Operations Division consists of three basic bureaus-uniformed patrol, investigations and communications.

  • Jail Division The Jail Division is charged with the safe and secure operation of the Stark County Jail.
  • Staff Services Division The Staff Services Division is made up of seven bureaus consisting of Evidence and Property, Vehicle Maintenance, Building Maintenance, Quartermaster and Asset Inventory, Records, Word Processing, and Training.

  • Court Services Division The Court Services Division is charged with court security and all court related documents, such as subpoenas, writs, injunctions and any other legal papers processed.

  • Stark County Sheriff Reserve Division The Reserves are comprised of men and women from the community that have been properly trained and certified as peace officers.

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related web pages
Some interesting facts and information about county jails and how the Stark County Jail measures up for the citizens of Stark County

Deputy Awards Program