LIMA — Allen County Sheriff Matt Treglia is a pretty straight-laced guy. And he requires his deputies to project a clean-cut image to the public.
So when a deputy asked a few months back if beards would be allowed during “No Shave November,” Treglia quickly said no. But when the deputy returned a short time later and asked if beards would be permitted if employees paid $20 for the privilege — and that money in turn was donated to charities — the sheriff relented. And needy county residents benefited as a result.
It was perhaps a small thing, but Treglia’s willingness to be flexible is emblematic of wholesale changes in the sheriff’s office in the 10 months he has been at the helm. Employee morale is important to the sheriff, and the 171 employees of his office have responded in kind.
The sheriff has instituted awards to recognize correction officers, deputies and staff members who have gone above and beyond their normal duties. He has been working with key staffers to elevate the sheriff’s office’s presence on social media to communicate with the public and placed an emphasis on health and fitness, getting health foods included in the office break room and new equipment in the exercise room.
“We’re all working for the same goal; no one person can do this job alone,” said Treglia, who was the guest speaker Friday at the monthly Allen County Republican Party luncheon. He said seven new road deputies have been hired this year, along with an unspecified number of dispatchers and jailers. Attrition through retirements and resignations made the new hires possible.
“We’ve had a lot of young hires,” the sheriff said. “But when they pass all the rigorous tests that I require, I see someone who is going to protect Allen County to the best of his ability.”
Treglia was elevated to the sheriff’s position in February after Jim Everett, who had held that position for less than six weeks after taking over for former sheriff Sam Crish, died. Crish resigned as sheriff under scrutiny on Dec. 31.
Treglia called Everett a mentor and said his office’s conference room is dedicated to Everett. “After all the things that have happened in the past 10 months [Everett’s death] is one of the hardest things I’ve gone through. I’m sure he’s always guiding us,” Treglia told the GOP crowd.
Allen County Commissioner Cory Noonan, who introduced Treglia at the GOP event, said the sheriff “is doing a great job” and noted the county executives “have a great relationship with Matt.”