There's a new chief deputy in town.
Rod Strait, who has been with the Webster County Sheriff's Department since the fall of 1996, was named to the position earlier this month after the previous chief deputy, Jim Stubbs, was elected Webster County Sheriff.
Strait said he was asked to be chief deputy by Stubbs shortly after the sheriff's election in November.
Chief Deputy Rod Strait, center, looks over some files on the computer with Webster County Sheriff Jim Stubbs in Strait’s office in the Law Enforcement Center. Strait was recently promoted to the position.
"Before this position, I worked as a road deputy," he said. "I was in charge of patrolling the roads all over the county."
Strait said the position of chief deputy will bring new responsibilities and challenges.
"I have all the duties as a deputy with the added tasks of administrative work, attending court and carrying out the orders of the sheriff," he said. "I'm also responsible for making sure all the other deputies have what they need to do their jobs."
Though he's adjusting to a new job, Strait has been involved with Webster County and Fort Dodge in several roles over the years. Originally from Clare, Strait said he attended St. Matthew's, St. Edmond and Iowa Central.
"I've also worked a number of jobs that have made me connected to the community," he said.
That includes his first career in law enforcement with the Fort Dodge Police Department, where he worked from 1988-1996.
As for the transition to chief deputy, Strait said it's gone very well.
"That all comes from the sheriff," he said. "He's made it a very smooth process."
Strait said the biggest challenge now is adjusting to his new duties as chief deputy as well as still working part time on the overnight shift. However, he added that will soon change.
"We're in the process of hiring two new deputies," Strait said. "That should be happening very soon, and I'm excited about that process."
Strait said the new deputies will fill the positions of retired Sheriff Brian Mickelson and another deputy who recently resigned from the department to work in the private sector.
The new chief deputy said he's expecting to learn from his position.
"There are going to be all new challenges for me," he said. "It's going to be really interesting to look at my job from a new direction."
Strait added he's anticipating the next part of his professional career.
"I'm looking forward to my future here in the sheriff's department," he said. "I'm really excited about where the department is going."