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George Lavender


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Sheriff Lavender is proud to be a lifelong resident of Ross County. He is a graduate of Union-Scioto High School. He has 40 years of law enforcement experience and has worked in the administrations of four previous Sheriffs. In those administrations, George was promoted several times and was commander of the Emergency Response and Water Rescue Teams. He has been Ross County Sheriff since 2008. He has been extremely aggressive with drug enforcement in our community while being fiscally responsible by working with Ross County Commissioners to operate within his annual budgets every year that he has been elected, sometimes even generating a surplus.

Meet George W. Lavender

My Name is George William Lavender Jr. I was born on November 29th, 1954 to Helen and George Lavender. My parents were raised in Wellston, Ohio but moved to Ross County due to my father’s employment with the Veterans Administration Medical Center. My dad was a police officer there, and passed his love of public service to me.

I am a lifelong resident of Ross County, attending and graduating from Union-Scioto (Unioto) High School in May of 1973. My parents instilled in me at an early age the virtue of a strong work ethic and I started working at the age of 12. I, like many youths started myself a neighborhood lawn mowing business and was mowing between 25 and 30 lawns a week. I also bailed hay during cutting season for local farmers. I was very active in sports during my junior high and high school years, playing football, basketball, and running track. I continued in sports until my senior year in High School when I elected to forego sports and enter into the work place. I started at Buckeye Mart in 1973 as a stock boy. I was promoted thru the company ranks from manager trainee to the store operations manager. I worked at Buckeye Mart until 1976 when I had the opportunity to follow my dream and was hired as a Deputy Sheriff with the Ross County Sheriff’s Office.

I am a 39 year veteran of the Ross County Sheriff’s Office and during those years of service I attended numerous law enforcement courses in various fields of modern law enforcement methods. My career leading up to my election prepared me to become your Ross County Sheriff. I started at the sheriff’s office as a dispatcher / jailer and worked at those jobs during my first year, while I attended Ohio Basic Peace Officer School in the evenings. Upon obtaining my Peace Officer certification I was promoted to court officer, where I worked for the next Two and one half years under the late Honorable Judge William Sammons.

After leaving the court officers job I started my career in the road patrol division. I found while working in the road patrol division that I really could make a difference in people’s lives as a first responder. I took great pride being a part of assisting people who have been traumatized and were vulnerable after becoming the victim of a crime. I learned how I could make a difference in people’s lives in these times by giving guidance and information on what was needed to pick up the pieces of their lives. I learned how to investigate and assist in prosecuting the persons who had created these problems.

Due to my love for this job as a road patrol officer I elected to stay in this division, passing on a chance to work in the Investigative Division, opting instead to work towards promotions in the Road Division. Under Sheriff Knott I was promoted to Sergeant. Under the current administration I was promoted to Lieutenant and finally Major. I was in charge of the Road Patrol Division, Emergency Response Team and Water Rescue Unit. I held these positions until I retired in September of 2005. After my retirement I continued working for the Ross County Sheriffs’ Office, on a grant through the Ross County Child Enforcement Agency doing civil process work this lasted until October 2006.

Lastly but most importantly I have been married to Jeanne (Chapman) Lavender for 25 years and we have three grown children Dustin Lavender, Shay Daily and Jason Daily. I was a member of the Christ in Christian Union Church as a youth and have been a member of Chillicothe Baptist Church since 1990. I am a member of the Gideon’s Organization and my wife Jeanne is an auxiliary member. My God and my family have been and continue to be the driving force and centers of my life. Through them I am given the strength, courage and wisdom to continue to perform the duties of this great office.


  • Improved the efficiency of the office at no additional expense to taxpayers
  • Added two School Safety Officers
  • Implemented professional, medical and food services in the jail
  • Improved public safety with the use of a video arraignment system and the improvement of Road Patrol equipment
  • Instituted an inmate educational system, that teaches life skills to inmates
  • Implemented body cameras in the Road Patrol Division
  • Established a widely recognized day reporting system


  • Worked with community partners, to establish the Terry Collins Reentry Center: the first multi-service, multi-agency reentry center in the nation. It provides a full spectrum of corrections and treatment programs that are efficient, effective, and budget-conscious in comparison to a jail alternative.
  • Upgraded to the MARCS statewide radio system which increases interoperability between county and state agencies therefore reducing the operating and maintenance costs.
  • Introduced body worn cameras through Grant Funding to better protect the public as well as deputies. These cameras are key to preserving evidence for Judicial use and ultimately minimizes the burden on local taxpayers.


  • Introduced and maintained a fleet management system that saves dollars while improving fleet reliability
  • Worked with community partners to obtain federal funding for “The Heroin Partnership Program” to help provide enforcement, support, and treatment for opiate addiction in Ross County
  • Awarded the Less Lethal Heroism Award by Taser International
  • Named the James Karnes Law Enforcement Executive of the Year in 2013

Latest News

Special Message from George Lavender

October 15, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

It has been almost four years since the citizens of Ross County elected me as the Sheriff of Ross County for a second term. It has been a busy four years, and I am happy to report that I have accomplished many of the promises made to the citizens of Ross County.

As your Sheriff, I have been fiscally responsible for an $8,000,000.00 budget, which is the largest budget for an elected county official. I have doubled the training hours of personnel to better serve the community. I have upgraded to the MARCS statewide radio system, which offers better interoperability with all other law enforcement agencies, at a large savings of your taxpayer's dollars. I have installed a unified chain of command and restructured the road patrol, detective division, corrections, and civil divisions with a goal of community service and community safety in mind. Additionally, over the past two terms as your Sheriff, I have returned nearly $4,000,000.00 of your tax dollars to the Ross County Commissioners by being fiscally responsible, with a commitment to community safety while staying within my budget.

I would like to continue working for you, the citizens of Ross County, as your Sheriff for the next four years. Since I have an opponent running against me in the upcoming primary (March 2016), we are planning and preparing for our campaign and know advertising will be one of our biggest expenses for this campaign.

We, as a committee, have decided to send out this letter of appeal asking you to consider making a donation toward our campaign. Please know it will be greatly appreciated, especially knowing that many of you have already given very generously to my past campaigns; but financial need is still there. With many of you working hard and putting so much effort in your support behind me, I am both honored and looking forward to serving four more years as your Ross County Sheriff.

Please vote Republican, George Lavender for Sheriff, in the Primary Election on March 15, 2016 to keep George Lavender on the November General Election ballot for Sheriff.

Yours in Service,

George W. Lavender

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178 Meadowlark Dr.
Chillicothe, OH 45601