By Jeff Gallatin
For North Olmsted police Sgt. Bob Wagner, becoming the detective bureau commander is a natural progression in his career.
“I’ve been fortunate that opportunities have become available to me at good times throughout my career,” said Wagner, who has been a police officer for nearly 17 years. “I got the chance to start with the (Ohio) Highway Patrol for about a year, and then I got the chance to come to this department, where I started with the patrol division. I was fortunate to get the chance to become a K-9 officer (with his four-legged partner Rico) for 10 years. Then I got the chance to become a sergeant for about three years, and now coming to the bureau, it’s a good place to be.”
Wagner said his supervisors and co-workers through the years have also been a major help.
“We’re fortunate that this department and its leaders have always prepared and trained officers to be ready to step into other roles,” he said. “Chief (Jamie) Gallagher is training people to be ready take his job, and as a sergeant I had a shift lieutenant in Lt. (Walt) Novak who had me handling administrative work, which will help me in this new role. I also was fortunate to get to go to a great three-week leadership school earlier this year, which was very beneficial.”
Wagner said as a K-9 officer he also had many opportunities to work with the detective bureau on cases.
“It’s a veteran bureau with a great bunch of people who know their jobs well and will be making me look good with their work,” he said. “We’ve worked well together, and I’m it sure it will go well.”
Gallagher said Wagner is a good officer for his new role who works well with others.
“We had a strong field of candidates, any of whom would have been a good choice, and it was the most difficult decision I’ve had in 30 years of law enforcement,” Gallagher said. “Bob is very organized and has picked up some valuable experience. He is also a good officer with some innovative ideas which will be good for the detective bureau.”