As of Wednesday, June 10, 2015
POLK COUNTY — Polk County Sheriff Bob Wolfe has announced he will retire at the end of this year.
His last day on the job will be Dec. 31.
“It just became time,” he said Monday. “My wife (Gail) and I will retire at the same time.”
Wolfe has been in law enforcement for 39 years, all of those years in Polk County with either the Independence Police Department or the sheriff’s office.
By the time he steps down, Wolfe will have served as sheriff for 16 years.
“I have surrounded myself with good quality, dedicated people,” Wolfe said of his career with Polk County. “That has made my job easy, and maybe made me a better person.”
Seeing the county’s Polk County public safety levy pass in May made his decision to retire a little easier.
If the levy hadn’t been approved, Wolfe said he would have stayed on another year or two to guide the office through potentially more downsizing.
Wolfe said he is going to recommend Detective Sgt. Mark Garton be appointed interim sheriff once he retires.
He said Garton plans to file for the office later this year, and an election will be held next year to fill the post permanently.
Garton started with the sheriff’s office as an explorer cadet and later was hired as a part-time records clerk.
He has worked as a jail control room tech and a jail deputy.
Eventually he moved to the patrol side, where he has served as a supervisor of the Polk County Interagency Narcotics Team and of the detectives unit.
With the ability to begin rebuilding his staff and Garton at the helm once he leaves, Wolfe said he feels comfortable stepping away.
“It’s been very rewarding,” Wolfe said. “The last two years have been the most challenging, but I will leave it in good hands with some resources to get it back,” to full staff.
Wolfe said his office will take more than a year to get to full operations due lengthy training requirements, especially for new officers. His office will resume 24-hour patrols by July 1, 2016, at the earliest.