There's a new sheriff in town

Dennis Robinson sworn in as sheriff of Lake County

BALDWIN — The name following the title may be new, but the man wearing the badge is familiar and well known.

In a ceremony on Nov. 2, Dennis "Denny" Robinson was sworn in as the new sheriff of Lake County.

Robinson has been a law enforcement officer with the department since 1989 and was serving as the department's undersheriff when Sheriff Robert Hilts announced his retirement in August. Hilts recommended Robinson to take over from him, however a three-person board consisting of County Clerk Shelly Myers, County Prosecutor Craig Cooper, and Judge Mark Wickens needed to approve Robinson for his appointment to be formalized. They did so and confirmed Robinson as sheriff at the Nov. 2 ceremony.

"I'm excited and honored to be appointed to the sheriff's job," said Robinson. "Everything I do, I try to do for the citizens of this county. I think when you have an undersheriff who is capable of moving up in rank, it's always better than bringing in someone from outside the community who doesn't know the area and its people."

Myers said Robinson has a long history with the department, all of which made him a good choice to lead the law enforcement team.

"I worked with Denny for many years. He knows the department from top to bottom," remarked Myers. "This is a one year appointment and the voters can make their own determination during the next election. He assumed the duties of the sheriff as the interim after Sheriff Hilts announced his retirement. He was doing a great job so we thought he was the obvious choice. There was no reason we could see why not to swear him in as sheriff."

Robinson will finish the remainder of Hilts' term as sheriff which ends on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016. The county will then vote for a new sheriff, but Robinson said he already plans on running. In fact, he has already filed the necessary paperwork to do so.

Robinson has been performing most of the day-to-day responsibilities of sheriff since his predecessor began the process of retiring in August. He is happy he has been officially appointed though, since there were a number of duties he could not perform until he was officially sworn in such as signing certain documents and the hiring and firing of personnel.

Also sworn in on Nov. 2 was Don Maiville, who is filling Robinson's former position of undersheriff. Maiville was promoted to detective-sergeant in January and served as a sergeant in the department's road patrol for the last four years. Prior to that, since 1992, he worked as a road patrol officer.

"I'm dedicated to my job and the community and its citizens," said Maiville. "I think I possess the loyalty and integrity to be entrusted with this position. I'm looking forward to the future."

Maiville voiced his support of Robinson and said he could think of no one better for the job.

"I think Denny is an excellent pick for sheriff. I believe the two of us will be a positive force the community and I look forward to working with him for many years," remarked Maiville.

Robinson said there will not be any other administrative changes, however a few vacant positions will be filled in the near future.

The new sheriff voiced his respect for Hilts and wished him the best on his retirement.

"Bob Hilts was a great leader the whole time he was here," said Robinson. "We worked well together and he was great for the community. The new office building for the road patrol will serve as his legacy. It was one of the last things he organized in his time here. After 22 years of hard work, he deserves a vacation."