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New positions created at DCSO; no more undersheriff

Michael Schneider

Two veterans of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will serve as chief deputies when the department’s new administration takes over Sept. 26.

Ron Pierini, who will take over as sheriff, held a news conference Friday morning to announce that Lt. Bob Rudnick and Capt. Bob Wenner will be promoted to the newly-created positions of chief deputy.

Wenner, a 13-year veteran of Douglas County law enforcement, will head the operations bureau of the sheriff’s department while Rudnick, who’s been with the sheriff’s office for 22 years, will head support services for the department.

Pierini said the position of undersheriff will be eliminated and the two new chief deputies will be paid as much as a sheriff’s captain at at a salary range of $49,000 to $66,000.

There will be four lieutenant positions under the chief deputies. Those will be held by Lt. Ross Chichester, Lt. Kathy Tadich, Lt. Allen Baumruck and another person within the sheriff’s office to be promoted internally.

Pierini said he would begin testing for the open lieutenant’s position on Oct. 22.

Pierini said the restructuring was to promote better communication within the department, to streamline the department’s operations and to save the county money.

“They’ve dedicated a lot of time to making it (the sheriff’s office) what it is – a really fine department,” said Pierini of his new chief deputies. “We could have brought someone in from outside. Obviously, we didn’t think it was necessary.

“I wouldn’t even entertain such a thought. Not with the quality of these two people.”

“I’m looking forward to challenges and changes in the future,” said Wenner. “Law enforcement changes on almost a daily basis. It’s like a football team with a new coach. There are different philosophies and some small changes.”

“You don’t change something that isn’t broken,” said Rudnick of the sheriff’s cepartment. “The citizens of Douglas County deserve the best. Now we must maintain and continue to give to Douglas County.

“Our most valuable resource is the people who work here.”

Rudnick, speaking on behalf of himself and Wenner, thanked Pierini for the opportunity.

“It’s comforting to know Ron has confidence in us,” he said.

“We have 68 years of combined experience,” said Pierini. “All of us are excited about our new positions and we have the energy to deal with them.

“Law enforcement has been good to us, be we also like to think we’ve been good to law enforcement.”