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Cleveland Police

Harold Pretel is likely to take over from Sheriff Stephen Hammett once the county council gives him the go-ahead this month.

Today, County Executive Chris Ronine nominated Harold Prettel, a three-decade veteran of the Cleveland Police Department, to be the county’s next sheriff.

An expert in terrorist threats and special investigations, Pretel has served as Deputy Chief of CPD’s Homeland Security Special Operations Division since 2017.

He assisted in homicide investigations, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, and was instrumental in the formation of the security battalion that ran the 2016 Republican National Convention. Pretel began his career as a correctional officer and county detective.

He is “an exceptional leader with a proven track record of cooperation and success in law enforcement,” Ronain said in a news release Wednesday morning.[Pretel’s ] experience in correctional facilities, with the sheriff’s department and st [CPD] prepared him to take on this role, and I know he has the vision and dedication necessary to lead the Sheriff’s Department.”

Pretel’s nomination, which is likely to be approved by the County Council this month, would make him the fifth sheriff of the county since 2019, when Armond Budish chose Clifford Pickney to lead Cuyahoga law enforcement.

Once installed, Pretel will replace Sheriff Stephen Hammett, the county’s interim sheriff, who resigned on Feb. 6.

Pretel studied criminal justice at Baldwin-Wallace and served as a police officer in the Marine Corps. He also holds a master’s degree in social administration from Case Western.

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