DELAWARE, Ohio — Delaware County Commissioners have appointed Chief Deputy Jeffrey C. Balzer to serve as acting County Sheriff, following the retirement of Sheriff Russell Martin.
Martin, who has served as the Delaware County Sheriff since June 2012, announced his plans to retire from a 43-year career in law enforcement earlier this year. His retirement takes effect Monday. Balzer has been a Chief Deputy with the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office since 2016.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, county commissioners can appoint an acting sheriff when the office is vacated more than 40 days before the next general election. Balzer will serve no less than five days and no more than 45 days before the Delaware County Republican Party’s Central Committee must then appoint a successor to Martin, who is a Republican.
The Central Committee will make that appointment May 11 at 7 p.m. That appointee will fill the remainder of Martin’s term, which expires Dec. 31, 2024.
When Martin announced his retirement, he put Balzer’s name forward as his preferred choice for his successor.
Jeff Benton, president of the Delaware County Board of Commissioners, said that he and his fellow Commissioners, Gary Merrell and Barb Lewis, felt that Balzer’s extensive experience in law enforcement, as well as his recent success in overseeing Delaware County Jail operations, more than qualifies him for the acting sheriff appointment.
“We have gotten to know this fine officer over the last 6+ years,” Benton said, “and we have no doubt he will represent this office and our county with integrity.”
Balzer, originally from the Springfield, Ohio, area, has been a resident of Delaware County for 37 years. He and his wife, Amy, raised their three children in the county where all of them graduated from Buckeye Valley H.S.
Balzer became a deputy sheriff in Champaign County after graduating from Ohio University. He later moved to Delaware County and joined the City of Delaware’s police department. After several years on the force in Delaware, Balzer was appointed a Deputy U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio where his assignments involved court security, judicial protection, witness security, fugitive investigations, and terrorism investigations. He retired early from U.S. Marshals Service to join the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.