Dave Ditz started Monday, two days after retiring from the Norwalk Police Department after 25 years of full-time service.
“I’m extremely excited and humbled with the confidence that Sheriff (Todd) Corbin) has put in me,” he said.
At his swearing-in ceremony Monday in Corbin’s office, Norwalk Police Chief Mike Conney joked it was the shortest retirement he’d ever seen, but said in all seriousness that Ditz is going into a very important position.
Hiring Ditz is “another outstanding opportunity for the Huron County Sheriff’s Office,” said Corbin, noting he can’t say enough good things about his new chief deputy.
“I’ve known him for a long time,” the sheriff added. “I’m glad Dave decided to sign on with us and continue our progress — getting better and providing better service for the community. … It’s an honor and a privilege to serve with Dave Ditz and the command staff here.”
Ditz began his career as a Norwalk auxiliary officer in 1990 and transitioned to full-time status Jan. 30, 1994.
“He spearheaded the creation of the Norwalk police K9 unit and was NPD’s first canine officer with his loyal partner and trusted friend, K9 Fazo. Officer Ditz’s military experience and positive attitude made him a highly valued member of the special response team and the honor guard; both assignments called for a willingness to sacrifice and the ability to be a team player,” Conney said.
Recently Ditz retired as a lieutenant colonel with the National Guard after nearly 32 years of service to his country. In early April 2018, he returned home to Norwalk after his sixth and final deployment. Ditz went to Iraq (2004), Kuwait (2007), Afghanistan (2010, 2013 and 2017) and New York (2015).
When Ditz was overseas with the National Guard, Detective Sgt. Dave Pigman was Fazo’s handler. He eventually did so on a full-time basis due to Ditz’s military obligations.
As a Norwalk police officer, Ditz was named the officer of the year twice. He also received the department medal of honor, medal of merit and awards for his military service, 20 years of safe driving and 25 years of service.
“He hasn’t left; he’s just changed positions,” said Corbin, who believes Ditz will do a great job mentoring the younger deputies, allowing them to “adapt, grow and get better.”
At the sheriff’s office, Ditz replaces Tod Wagner.
“The former chief deputy had a stroke. He had to take a disability retirement,” Corbin said. “I think Dave will do more than fill his shoes.”
Ditz said Monday he owes Conney, Capt. Jim Fulton and his former co-workers at the police department “a huge debt of gratitude.” He noted his experience in Norwalk prepared him for this next step in his career. Ditz’s wife Shannon said her husband’s time in law enforcement and especially his military leadership training will help him be a great chief deputy.
“Dave has had an outstanding career at the NPD and his love, care and concern for the welfare of his fellow officers and the citizens he served was always evident. The Huron County Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of Huron County will certainly benefit from his new position and the members of the Norwalk Police Department look forward to working alongside him in his new role,” Conney said.