NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Oct. 16, 2023) – A local law enforcement icon got a big surprise last week.
Ed Luthy retired from the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office last September after nearly 50 years as a reserve deputy. He walked into the New Philadelphia Hog Heaven Thursday evening expecting a casual family dinner – unaware that his former colleagues were there to give him a belated sendoff.
“I was here and gone. I had left there a year ago. I’m happy with where I’m at and what I’m doing. This is totally a surprise and uncalled for.”
Sheriff Orvis Campbell says retirees usually get a small party at the office but they wanted to do something special for Luthy, who paid for all his own training and donated three police cruisers to the county so would always have a nice one to drive.
“He could have been a full-timer anytime he wanted but he had a very successful career for Brechbuhler Scales and it paid a lot better than we did. But he did it out of a passion and he told me one time many years ago that it was like his mission.”
The 79-year-old Dover native is somewhat of a legend at the sheriff’s office.
“There was a multi-agency pursuit that went on for a long time, and Ed kind of famously just stepped into the road and stopped them with his hand. Cruisers lined up behind this thing, and Ed stopped the entire pursuit. He was from a different generation: a Navy veteran, played on two national championship football teams, just an iron man and all of us looked up to him.”
Luthy spent the first year of his volunteer law enforcement career in Hayward, California after moving there for work. He says he enjoyed it so much that he offered his service to the sheriff’s office after he and his wife decided to pack up their growing family and plant roots in his hometown.
“I had to wait a year here because I hadn’t been a resident and they had this residency requirement back then. So I said, ‘Well, that it’s. I’ll wait the year’ and then got into the school and training program and everything.”
Luthy served three sheriffs before Campbell including Walt Wilson, who came out to show his appreciation.
“I’ve known him for a very long time. He was an absolute reliable, dependable deputy. If you needed help, Ed would be right there to help you and he also treated people very well. He wasn’t rude or obnoxious. He just was an all-around very good deputy sheriff.”
Luthy received signed certificates thanking him for service from the Tuscarawas County Commissioner and the Ohio Senate. He was also presented with a star-shaped shadow box containing his badge and gun that was hand-crafted by Lieutenant Travis Stocker.