In the upcoming April 2014 issue of GUNS & WEAPONS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT, author Scott W. Wagner writes, “With the right leadership, it is possible for a rural sheriff’s office to not only operate efficiently, but to innovate, to do things that, in some cases, no other agency large or small has thought of doing. Sheriff Pat Kelly and his chief deputy, Captain Bryan Cooper, of the Athens County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) in Ohio are leaders who show what can be done when members of the agency have vision. More importantly, they value vision from all levels of the department. As Captain Cooper put it, ‘Why spend all the time and money finding quality deputies, and then tell them…no one wants to hear their opinion?’ Great question.”

Wagner rides shotgun with some of the ACSO’s deputies to learn how the agency works to keep Athens County safe. “To serve its residents, the ACSO has a total of 24 full-time sworn units. This includes the sheriff, who will also go out and handle calls with his deputies. Within those ranks, there are five lieutenants and no sergeants or corporals. Fourteen deputies are on the department’s Special Response Team (SRT), and two deputies work court transport duties. There are four detectives and one K-9 unit. There is no jail. Prisoners are held in the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail in Nelsonville. Dispatching is done by the countywide 911 center.”

To learn more about the Athens County Sheriff’s Office, check out the April 2014 issue of GUNS & WEAPONS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT, available on newsstands and digitally January 7, 2014. To subscribe, go to

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