CIRCLEVILLE — Even though there’s a new sheriff in town, sweeping changes to the department, outside the barer than usual walls, haven’t been made.

Pickaway County Sheriff Matthew Hafey took office officially Monday and with it came questions from the community about the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Department and any immediate changes.

Hafey said he plans to continue things as they have been but make the necessary changes he sees as they come up.

“I want the public to know that the Sheriff’s Office will continue to function and function well,” he said. “We’re going to make improvements as we see ways to do things better. It wouldn’t be fair to the public or to the employees to make sweeping changes right away and cause confusion and chaos. That does no good for anyone and would kill morale as well.”

Hafey spent much of his first day getting all the staff members sworn in and making the appointment of John Strawser to lead the detective bureau. There are still several positions that are open that he’s working to fill.

“When we did the turnover with Sheriff Radcliff, he gave me a list of positions that were open,” Hafey said. “The first thing we want to take care of is fill the empty positions at the jail. Numbers have come way up and we’re going to continue to get the jail fully staffed and where it needs to be to not only project the staff, but the inmates as well.”

Hafey said he wants to provide the best service possible for the community now and into the next four years.

“I’m excited to be Pickaway County’s Sheriff for the next four years and beyond,” he said.

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