The retirement of a key member of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office administrative team puts Sheriff Bob Bratton in a bit of a bind.
Steve Levorchick, captain of operations, handed in his badge Aug. 31 after nearly a quarter of a century of service.
“Steve’s going to be looking at security jobs or something like that,” Bratton said of his after- retirement plans. “He’s going to do fine. He’s just 48 years old and with his experience, he’ll be able to do almost anything.”
Levorchick, who has been on vacation several weeks prior to retirement, could not be reached for comment.
He began his career in with the department in 1987 as a member of the road patrol. He was promoted to supervisor/sergeant of shift and then later to the criminal investigation/detective division. During that time, he also assisted the administrative staff and had served as commander of the Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team.
In February 2005, he was promoted to captain of operations.
For many veteran workers, recent changes in Ohio’s Public Employees Retirement System have prompted a serious look at retirement. Levorchick, Bratton said, is no different. “He had to seriously look at what he would be losing if he did not opt to retire now,” the sheriff explained.
As for the department, the departure will put a strain on operations. Bratton considers the chief of operations position a “critical position” in the hierarchy of department leadership, he said.
Adding to the problem is the previous loss of a road patrol deputy and corrections deputy as county officials grappled to keep the budget in line.
As autumn rolls around, the department has already felt the strain of overtime duties in the jail as well as $30,000 in costs dedicated to the days after the June tornado in Millbury and western Ottawa County, Bratton noted.
“I’m willing to work with the commissioners to get back these positions if I can. I’m going to have to sell myself to them. I’m even willing to consider part-time for the chief of operations position,” the sheriff said.
Under the part-time umbrella, benefits are usually low or cut out completely.
In 2009, Levorchick made a salary of $53,270, with benefits, according to the Ottawa County auditor’s office.