Lebanon County Sheriff Mike DeLeo announces retirement, deputy sheriff Bruce Klingler intends to run for post
Jan 08, 2013 (Lebanon Daily News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Longtime Lebanon County Sheriff Mike DeLeo announced his retirement Tuesday as current deputy sheriff Bruce Klingler publicized his candidacy for the position.
DeLeo, who has served as sheriff since 1990, intends to finish out his sixth term and retire at the end of the year.
"I've been serving the people of this community and many others since 1952, so I think it's time for me to start traveling a little bit, visiting children and grandkids," the 85-year-old said Tuesday. "We finally found a man who is qualified. He's been working here for 10 years and has impressed me tremendously. ... I have all the faith in the world in him."
Among its many duties, the sheriff's office serves court papers including bench and criminal warrants, issues licenses, transports prisoners, and provides security in the courthouse and other county properties as well as issuing license-to-carry permits.
DeLeo, employees of the sheriff's department, and friends and family gathered in support of Klingler when he announced his intent to run at a news conference at the county courthouse.
"I've always felt a strong sense of duty," said Klingler, a Republican. "I am wanting, and I am willing to stand before you as a candidate for sheriff with my continual sense of duty. And to the citizens of Lebanon County, I am saying, 'Here is Bruce Klingler, reporting for duty as sheriff.'"
Klingler is a graduate of Northern Lebanon High School. Before his employment in the sheriff's department,
Klingler worked within the Lebanon Police Department for 33 years as acting chief of police, captain, lieutenant of patrol, sergeant of patrol and patrolman. He also served as an infantry sergeant in the Army and as a platoon sergeant in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard during the Gulf War.
Klingler said it has been an honor to serve under DeLeo, who also has a lengthy career in law enforcement. DeLeo started as a patrolman for the Lebanon police in 1952 and was promoted to chief in 1972. He then served as a federal agent for 11 years before serving as Lebanon's chief of police again from 1984 until 1990, when he became sheriff.
"I've been through quite a bit," DeLeo said. "It's been one of the most interesting careers I could have possibly asked for."
Beginning in 2014, Lebanon County's sheriff and register of wills will receive 2.5 percent salary increases during their next term in office. The county commissioners approved the pay increase in the fall by a vote of 2-1, with Bill Ames dissenting.
The increase will boost the salaries for sheriff and register of wills from $55,359 in 2013 to $56,744 in 2014, keeping them in line with all the other row offices, with the exception of the commissioners, who will earn $62,718 in 2014. At the end of the next term, the sheriff and register of wills will earn $61,106 a year.
Staff Writer John Latimer contributed to this story.
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