YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - After more than 55 years in law enforcement, Mahoning County Sheriff Randall Wellington is retiring.
On Saturday, his successor, Jerry Greene will take the oath of office and become Mahoning County's new sheriff.
Sheriff-Elect Greene will be sworn-in at the Mahoning County Courthouse on Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m. and plans to hit the ground running when he officially takes office on Monday.
And as he prepares to take over the reigns as sheriff, Greene has nothing but praise for his predecessor Randall Wellington.
Wellington's decorated career in law enforcement began some six decades ago. He spent 41years as a Youngstown police officer, including 14 years as chief. More recently, Wellington spent more than 13 years as Mahoning County's sheriff.
Wellington was appointed as the county's top cop at a critical time. In 1999, the department's image was suffering because of Sheriff Phil Chance's federal racketeering conviction.
Sheriff-Elect Greene says, "He (Wellington) came to our department when some of us were ashamed to put on the uniform. And he really brought back our honesty, our integrity. He made us proud to wear the uniform again, and I can't thank him enough for that."
Sheriff-Elect Greene says he will have big shoes to fill when he officially takes the helm on Monday and the transition behind the scenes between the two men has already begun.
"My goal has always been to get the jail opened back up. I have meetings set up with the U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott in reference to bringing in some female and male federal inmates," Greene says.
Housing federal inmates could generate nearly $1-million dollars a year for the Mahoning County Sheriff's Department.
The sheriff-elect has well over two decades of experience with the department, and also plans to re-institute the reserve officers unit, a pay-to-stay program, as well as other inventive ideas.
The goal Greene says is to keep the department fully staffed, and the jail fully functioning.
"That's the best way we can help all of our local law enforcement agencies. It's the best way we can help the judges, the prosecutors, and help the community most importantly," Green said.