GALLIPOLIS — Community law enforcement and campaign supporters looked on Wednesday afternoon as Gallia Common Pleas Judge Dean Evans swore-in Gallia Sheriff-elect Matt Champlin.
Known for his work as a lieutenant with the Gallipolis Police Department, Champlin was elected as Gallia Sheriff during the November elections and will officially take office Jan. 2.
“I consider it an honor to have achieved the Office of Gallia County Sheriff,” said Champlin. “I’m excited to serve the people of Gallia County and I believe we have a great law enforcement community throughout the county. I’m excited to join forces with the other law enforcement agencies and work diligently to combat the crimes being committed against our public and to stop the victimization of our citizens that we serve.”
Champlin thanked those who attended to show their support during the ceremony and credited a passed friend and fellow Gallipolis officer David Poling for being an example to law enforcement and being a large influence in Champlin’s journey to the office of sheriff.
“I want people when I’m done being sheriff to tell me that I did a good job but I will tell them that I could not do as good a job as what he would have done,” said Champlin. “He was a true leader and a true humble individual. He was a great man and father to his family.”
Evans led Champlin through the oath of office. Champlin swore that he would support and defend the Constitution of the US and the Constitution of Ohio and would faithfully and impartially perform all duties placed upon him as the Sheriff of Gallia County.
Champlin, 37, of Gallipolis, is a graduate of Gallia Academy High School. He was born in Sodus, N.Y. He lived in Pennsylvania until his freshman year of high school before moving to Gallipolis.
He said he started his career in law enforcement immediately after graduating. He started his training at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy and completed the program in April 1997. He received his first commission through the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office in 1997, where he was commissioned as a special deputy.
He started his first employment with the Rio Grande Police Department in 1998 as a part-time officer. He then was employed at the Gallia County Juvenile Court as a probation officer. He once held a position at the Gallia County 911 Center as a dispatcher and with the GPD as a dispatcher. He was appointed a full-time road officer with GPD on Sept. 30 1999.
Champlin is a trained meth lab technician and has been for the last two years. He wears HAZMAT suits and “goes in” to disassemble labs, test and neutralize sites of suspected meth production activity. He has been a trained police canine handler since March 2001. He is on his second dog now.
He received his first promotion to sergeant in 2005 and a promotion to lieutenant in 2010. He has firearms qualifications through state government training. He also serves as an instructor at Pine Grove Kennel in Reedsville and is part of a staff that is known for training police dogs that serve several police departments throughout the Appalachian region. He also serves as an evaluator for the state of Ohio in regards to canine units.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.