After just about 50 many years in legislation enforcement, Lucas County’s sheriff is passing the baton to Mike Navarre.

TOLEDO, Ohio — A framed certification in the basement of Sheriff John Tharp’s home acknowledges him as a Bronze Star recipient.

It had been in a drawer right up until a shocked mate advised him that he need to be very pleased of receiving the honor for conserving lives as a beat medic in the jungles of Vietnam.

For far more than 50 a long time, Tharp has served other people – to start with as a medic, then as a Toledo Law enforcement department officer and detective, and for the very last 22 a long time with the sheriff’s division. For the previous eight decades, he has been the county’s elected sheriff.

After this weekend, he will no extended be carrying a badge. He will changeover from Sheriff Tharp to Grandpa John.

“I’m enthusiastic to devote much more time with my loved ones,” he suggests.

The family members continues to develop. He has sons in Seattle and Nashville and a daughter in Waterville. He now has 6 grandchildren, including a grandson who was born about six weeks back. The 72-yr-previous has been married to his spouse, Sam, for 39 several years.

But he counts users of Toledo legislation enforcement and neighborhood teams as his extended relatives.

“I actually do not want to go. I dislike to depart. There are a large amount of fantastic guys in the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office environment,” he suggests. “And there have been so a lot of organizations we have labored with, and assisted in the schools. How could I not miss out on them?”

As he talks, Sam digs all-around and pulls out Tharp’s boot camp photograph. He was powerfully created. She also lays out his Libbey Large School yearbook. It really is shocking to see him photographed in a three-position stance as a tackle for the Cowboys’ football workforce.

The soccer field was where by his legislation enforcement occupation took root.

“A team of us performed soccer at Libbey Substantial Faculty and officers would occur down and observe the procedures. We generally said, wouldn’t it be terrific to have that work?”

Tharp and 5 of his friends entered the academy at the identical time in the early 1970s. In 1972, he joined TPD as a patrolman, doing work his way up to the vice squad, detective, and finally the gang squad, prior to retiring in 1997.

Former Sheriff James Telb brought Tharp in excess of to the division as the director of general public data in 1998 and he was later elected sheriff in 2012.

For the previous eight years, Tharp has reimagined how community law enforcement need to be, concentrating on a lot of initiatives to support people, alternatively than just punishing them. A new application is aimed at assisting homeless veterans who land in the jail get back again on their ft soon after becoming unveiled. 

The most noteworthy program, however, has been the nation’s initial Drug Addiction Source Device, which he started in 2014.

“I would walk via the jail at night and see an individual in reserving heading by means of detox,” he states. “Just one evening, there was this genuinely clean up-cut male (detoxing) who was kicking, and he kicked an officer’s leg. He was so apologetic and stated, ‘I could not regulate my leg.’ I understood a little something was likely on, and no a person was conversing about the opioid epidemic.”

The goal of the software is not to throw addicts into jail, but to get them and their households help. Other departments all around the country have adopted identical applications soon after Tharp designed a presentation at the White Dwelling during President Barack Obama’s expression.

 “Our oath is to protect and provide. But who do we serve? We serve a large amount of individuals who are weak and in want of support, who need our assistance. I’m actually most happy of staying to do that.”

On Monday, Mike Navarre will be sworn in as Lucas County sheriff. The former Toledo police main has regarded Tharp for 40 a long time.

“He is a compassionate person who has a legitimate issue for the persons he works with and the local community he serves. His tenure as sheriff will be extremely complicated to comply with,” Navarre suggests.

Tharp rapidly dismisses any stress that Navarre may come to feel.

Tharp mentioned he’ll however be seen close to city, supporting out when he can with numerous of the community groups with which he has created interactions. But his times in regulation enforcement are just about performed.

As far as a legacy, it can be rather straightforward.

“What I hope is stated about me is what everyone in the community should really imagine about. We will need to be gentlemen and females for other folks,” he says. “I hope I can be remembered as trying the greatest I could to assistance other folks. I consider that would be a target that a lot of of us would want.”