Police & Courts

Wagner sworn in as Adams County sheriff

Chief Deputy Richard Wagner is sworn in by Judge Scott Larson at the Adams County Courthouse on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. Wagner is taking Brian VonderHaar's place as Adams County sheriff.
H-W Photo/Katelyn Metzger
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 26, 2020 12:01 am

QUINCY — Adams County Sheriff Rich Wagner was "humbled and honored" as he took the oath of office Friday before friends and family in the Adams County Courthouse.

"This is something that I don't know if I dreamt of from a younger age, but it's something I'm glad to be," Wagner said. "I've worked hard throughout my career. I've done a lot of things, and I've worked with a lot of honorable officers."

Wagner was appointed by the Adams County Board last week after former Sheriff Brian VonderHaar announced he would step down. His last day was Thursday.

"I've always loved law enforcement, and I've always enjoyed coming into work every day and doing my job," Wagner said. "As I progressed up through the ranks, I knew it was a possibility someday to be sheriff. I'm just glad to be in the position."

Wagner, 50, joined the Sheriff's Department in 1999 after time with the Quincy Police Department. He served as chief deputy for the last four years, but he has served as corrections officer, road deputy, juvenile officer, task force agent, special response team leader, hostage negotiator, sergeant and captain.

"I've worked at almost every position in the Adams County Sheriff's Department," he said.

Wagner also thanked VonderHaar for his service and support.

"Sheriff VonderHaar has done a great job during his four years as sheriff," Wagner said. "He's a very honorable man. I respect him. He's a great mentor and does the right thing. To follow in his footsteps makes my transition very easy."

Though he's not expecting changes in the department, Wagner expects deputies and staff to continue having a professional and respectable approach in the community.

"We're here to serve the community with respect and dignity, and that's what I plan on instilling in all the officers," he said. "We're here to serve them when their having the worst times of their lives or when they're having the best times of their lives. We're here for them."

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