100 days: Sheriff McGuffey on her work so far and new threats in Hamilton County

Deescalation training for deputies and addictions services for inmates top the list of...
Deescalation training for deputies and addictions services for inmates top the list of accomplishments for Hamilton County's new sheriff.(WXIX)
Published: Apr. 10, 2021 at 10:25 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - More addictions services and deescalation training for deputies top the list of Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey’s accomplishments in her first 100 days in office.

McGuffey’s 100th day won’t come until next Wednesday, but she discussed her progress with FOX19 NOW in an interview Friday.

McGuffey became the first female commander at sheriff’s office and the first openly gay sheriff in Hamilton County history when she was elected last November.

She says one of the things she’s proudest of his hiring women and people of color for positions of power in the department.

“My biggest win has been the support of, not just the community, but also the people in this department,” she said.

It’s a department that faces significant flux, with an historically high rate of turnover, according the the sheriff.

“Our biggest challenge is bringing people in here who want to wear the black and gold, who will like this job, who will enjoy being here, and make this place a career,” she said.

On the policy side, McGuffey is working to prioritize inmates by bringing back old programs she implemented when she ran the jail, including a “robust” addiction services program and the women’s heroin recovery pod.

There will also be new programs.

“We could potentially give out medications that will restore people to competency that are suffering from mental illness, and that is going to be cutting edge,” she said.

McGuffey plans on using an already established program in the county to implement the changes. She says it can happen with little or no cost to the taxpayers.

In her first 100 days, she’s also created a new deescalation training program for deputies.

“This program is all about de escalation,” she said. “So far, we’ve trained a 100 officers and eight support staff, and we’re going to train this entire department.”

She says the training will impact the streets of Hamilton County.

“That’s going to be the first thing that comes to our mind when we encounter a situation,” she said.

McGuffey acknowledges some situations can’t be deescalated, especially as threats rise from different corners of the region.

“There are things that are brewing with supremacy groups,” she said. “There are things that are brewing with people who want to create havoc in our society, and yes, we’re keeping our eye on that.”

McGuffey says vaccinations will begin among inmates at the justice center beginning April 19.

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