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Franklin County sheriff to retire at end of 2007

December 09, 2006|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. ? Franklin County Sheriff Robert Wollyung announced Friday he will be hanging up his badge and gun at the end of 2007, ending his second career in law enforcement.

Wollyung, 67, retired after 29 years with the Pennsylvania State Police before retiring as a corporal and running for sheriff in 1991. He is a native of Pottsville, Pa., where his father had been police chief for 20 years.

The 57th man to serve as sheriff of the county, Wollyung said he is the first to serve four terms, and in 2002 became the first sheriff from the county to be elected president of the Pennsylvania Sheriffs Association.

"The best part of this job? The satisfaction of serving the public," Wollyung said. "It sounds corny, but it's true."

In the 15 years since he took office, Wollyung said the duties have expanded. The Sheriff's Office was responsible for security at the courthouse and two courtrooms 15 years ago.

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Now, deputies are on duty in four courtrooms at the courthouse, and his office provides security at the county's Human Services Building and Administrative Annex as well.

The office also transports prisoners to and from the courthouse to the county jail and state prisons; serves civil court documents such as divorce papers and foreclosures; and serves bench warrants.

During his time in office, there have not been many serious incidents in the courthouse, Wollyung said. He recalled one inmate punching his attorney and a few who deputies had to "rassle with."

One prisoner tried to get away from him six or seven years ago, but did not get far.

"The one and only escape from the actual confines of the county courthouse, and it was my fault," Wollyung said. "I let my guard down"

The sheriff was about to chain the prisoner to a pair of other inmates to be taken back to the jail. The prisoner got past Wollyung and pushed his way through a door, but slipped on the wet pavement outside and quickly was tackled by the sheriff and a deputy.

One of Wollyung's deputies, William Kauffman, a former Waynesboro Police Department corporal, has announced he will run for Wollyung's office next year.

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