Cuyahoga County Executive picks Cleveland Police deputy chief to be next sheriff
Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne nominated Cleveland Deputy Chief of Police Harold Pretel as his new sheriff Wednesday.
Pretel has served in Cleveland Division of Police for decades and before that was a corrections officer and a deputy with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department.
“Deputy Chief Pretel is an exceptional leader with a proven track record of collaboration and success in law enforcement,” Ronayne said in a press release announcing the nomination. “Deputy Chief Pretel’s experience in corrections, with the Sheriff’s department and at the Cleveland Division of Police has prepared him to take on this role and I know he has the vision and dedication we need to lead the Sheriff’s department.”
The nomination requires confirmation from county council.
Pretel is the Deputy Chief of Homeland Special Operations and oversees specialized investigative units. He’s appeared publicly to advocate for the department’s expanding use of surveillance technology like drones and a network of cameras around the city.
As sheriff, he would be in charge of the county jail and sheriff’s deputies who primarily enforce warrants.
The previous confirmed sheriff, Christopher Viland, served in the role for a little over a year before resigning last year to become the Cleveland Police Department’s superintendent of internal affairs.
If confirmed, Pretel will be the fifth person to hold the county sheriff job since 2019. Three have been interim sheriffs, with the most recent interim, Joe Greiner, serving in the role twice since 2019.
The sheriff became an appointed position when the county adopted a charter in 2010. Several members of county council have questioned whether that arrangement is effective and raised the possibility of bringing back an elected sheriff. Council is divided over that proposal.