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Summit County Sheriff names former captain, corrections officer as second-in-command

Newly-sworn in Sheriff Frank Smith (left) and Chief Deputy Kacey Bates (right) at KPCW

Newly-sworn in Summit County Sheriff Frank Smith announced Tuesday former Capt. Kacey Bates will be his chief deputy, the first woman to hold that position.

Chief Deputy Kacey Bates was raised in Summit County, but law enforcement wasn’t her first career.

She initially worked in health care. Her dad Bob Swensen, who worked at the Summit County Health Department for more than 30 years, told her when a position in the Summit County Sheriff’s Office Corrections and Jail Division opened up.

That was in 1998. Bates was one of the first five women the sheriff’s office ever hired, and she’s been working there ever since.

“It's been 25 years, and I've learned something in every position that I've been in,” Bates said. “People saw things in me, and I appreciate that. And every opportunity that I've had, I appreciate.”

She remembers serving under Jail Commander Katie Booth, who was and is a mentor to Bates, even though Bates moved on from the corrections side.

In 2006, she became a school resource officer. She has also served as a forensic interviewer, a sergeant in the jail division, an administrative sergeant, lieutenant and jail commander.

Bates was promoted to captain in February 2023, supervising the recently expanded public information team.

She’ll remain the team’s supervisor for now, in addition to taking over the duties of chief deputy. She said those include coordinating day-to-day operations and assisting the sheriff in his long-term goals for the office.

“I'm excited to be the chief deputy for the Summit County Sheriff's Office,” she said. “I've been raised in Summit County, and I want to contribute to the community that I was raised in and that I love.” 

Sheriff Smith told KPCW she’s trusted and competent.

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