She is the county’s first sheriff, one of only six in Ohio history, and one of the under-60 currently elected in the country.
SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio – “A boss is someone who boldly chooses her own direction. She does things, she often deviates from the conventional path and charts her own path. She often works toward a higher goal outside of her own personal cause.access.“- Maggie Sullivan, author of”Boss Ladies of CLE“
Kandy Fatheree is Summit County’s first sheriff, one of only six in Ohio history and one of the under-60 currently elected in the country.
Sheriff Fatheree was just sworn in last January. His 7-year-old granddaughter, Anna, held the family Bible during the ceremony.
“I wanted to give him encouragement, conviction and strength and [let her] know that “Hey you can do whatever you want,” Fatheree said of her youngest grandson.
Fatheree knows firsthand the importance of motivation. It was her own childhood that led her to work in the police force.
“When I was a child, I was sexually assaulted for several years, between the age of 7 and between the ages of 9 and 10,” she said. “He was a man from my neighborhood, someone who knew my parents. I never spoke. Never. I never told a soul, but I knew when I was young that one day I wanted to grow up and that I wanted to save other children and other women from what ever happens to them. “
When Fatheree was a divorced single mother in her mid-30s, she says she made the decision to call the police. After graduating from the police academy where she also met her husband, she worked for the Lakemore Police Department for two years before being hired in 1995 by the Summit County Sheriff’s office she now runs.
“I wanted to attack the bad guys and I wanted to help the people,” Fatheree said.
But of course, real police life is not that simple, as the actions of officers and the use of force are under a national microscope. At the same time, the county, like the city of Akron, is experiencing an increase in crime rates.
“We have issues so we need to come together and start building the trust of the neighborhoods,” Fatheree said of community and police relations in Summit County. “The best way for us to do that is if you trust us enough to allow law enforcement to enter the neighborhood … but they want to know that when we come in, we will treat them fairly. and that it won’t be a huge show of force, but a partnership. “
Fatheree has already added a diversity manager to the office to hire more inclusive MPs. She also says she has seen many of the county’s most pressing issues unfold in her own family.
“I lost two members of my family two years ago, a niece and a sister-in-law, to an overdose,” she said. “Drug addiction has hit every family, and I don’t think there are hardly any families that haven’t been affected.”
One of its priorities is to fill the gaps in the drug addiction system, to keep people out of jail in the dismantling programs. She hopes to serve three terms and says she has high hopes for the future.
“I will tell you that I sincerely believe that after 12 years we will be in a much better position than today, not only in the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, but in law enforcement as well. in the world, and in our communities and relationships, ”she said. “We have nowhere to go but upstairs.”