by Pat Nowak
In 2013, John Tharp was sworn in as the 45th Sheriff of Lucas County, Ohio. Being elected Sheriff is the culmination of many years of law enforcement experience, beginning with a 25 year career with the Toledo Police Division, with assignments in Field Operations, the Narcotics Squad, the Drug Task Force, and the Homicide Squad. Raised in Toledo, Tharp graduated from Libbey High School and earned Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Education from the University of Toledo.
In 1997, Sheriff Tharp began working with the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office. Initially named the Director of Court Services, he subsequently became the Commander of the Administrative Services Section. Included in his duties were assignments to Homeland Security, Great Lakes Northern Border Initiation, Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the Lucas County Joint Task Force.
Where do you call home?
I was born in West Virginia and moved to Toledo where I played basketball and wrestled for Libbey High School
What was your first job?
As a police officer with the Toledo Police Department
What lifestyle tips do you favor?
Community Service has been an important part of my life. Involvement in organizations such as the Old Newsboys Goodfellows Association, The Police Athletic League (PAL), and Read for Literacy are just a few examples where I can try to make a difference to the area’s youth and senior population.
I am most proud of:
The addiction unit, the first of its kind in the nation, to work with heroin overdose victims and their families. Attorney General Mike DeWine designated the unit a statewide model and pilot program. The addiction resource unit was recently named D.A.R.T., or Drug Abuse Response Team and we are fortunate enough to have it in NW Ohio.
Something most people don’t know about me?
I originally wanted to be a farmer.
Words I live by?
Be a man or woman for others.
My proudest accomplishment?
Serving my Country in the United States Army as a Combat Medic during the Vietnam War.
People I most respect?
I am proud of the men and women that comprise the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office.