For the past 17 years, Don Phillips has been serving the citizens of Wapello County in the sheriff??s office as a deputy; and on January 7, he officially became the chief deputy of the department.
With the retirement of former sheriff Don Kirkendall in the fall, and the election of Sheriff Miller in November, the chief deputy position was vacant.
At last Tuesday??s Wapello County Board of Supervisor??s meeting, Sheriff Miller nominated Phillips for the position, which all three supervisors accepted.
KTVO spoke with Phillips for the first time on Wednesday since accepting the position. One of the big focuses he wants to continue within the department is to tackle the drug problem within Wapello County.
??I think with the drug issues that go on in the county, I believe that is where you get your thefts and your burglaries. I believe they are tied together. All three of them are issues that are important for us (The Wapello County Sheriff??s Office) to concentrate on,?? said Chief Deputy Don Phillips.
When Sheriff Miller took over the department in November, KTVO asked if there would be any improvements made within the office now that a new leader was in control. Miller said at the time that he would like to increase the staffing at the department, a concern echoed by Chief Deputy Phillips.
However, Phillips says that the department as a whole is a well-run organization. He added that if any changes were needed to be made, they would need the approval of Sheriff Miller.
??I really cannot think of anything that needs to be improved on with what Sheriff Miller did when he was in his position. I suppose as time goes on, maybe there will be some things that come up; but obviously I would have to check with Sheriff Miller first and see if he would like to implement those changes. But, I do not have any changes today that I believe need to be done,?? Phillips said.
Chief Deputy Phillips concluded that he is excited about his new leadership role within the sheriff??s office, and that he looks forward to helping his fellow deputies with their cases and investigations.