Sheriff taps top aides
New Leavenworth County Sheriff Dave Zoellner has tapped a Tonganoxie man as his new undersheriff.
This will be a repeat performance for Ron Cranor, who served as undersheriff for nine years before he retired in 1999.
Ron Cranor, who turned 68 on Saturday, was chosen by Zoellner, who said it was Cranor's leadership and administrative abilities that helped make the decision to appoint him an easy one.
"He's a professional," said Zoellner, who took over the reins of the Sheriff's Office on Monday.
"He has the knowledge and the ability, and he's a professional," Zoellner said. "And, yes, he's a friend, but he has the experience. He's the right person for the job."
In addition to Cranor, Zoellner also named Leonard Ayres as his executive director. Ayres has extensive experience with information technology, most of it with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Kansas City office. Ayres, who lives in Leavenworth, also represented the FBI's investigative interest throughout the county, including at the federal prison, the disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth and the state penitentiary.
Ayres retired from the FBI last week.
"The citizens of Leavenworth County are going to benefit greatly from Dave's guidance and direction, with Ron and me assisting him," Ayres said.
Cranor said he didn't take long to consider Zoellner's offer to serve as undersheriff.
"It's not as hard as it would be with some other person," Cranor said. "I've known Dave for around 40 years. He and I think alike on so many issues."
Cranor, who was elected to the Tonganoxie City Council in 2003, has extensive experience in law enforcement. He served with the Kansas Highway Patrol for 31 years, and he retired in 1990 with the rank of major. He then was appointed undersheriff by then-Sheriff Terry Campbell.
Most recently, Cranor has worked part time at the Leavenworth County Justice Center in Leavenworth as a security officer. Cranor and his wife, Barbara, have lived in Tonganoxie for the past 32 years. They have two grown children.
Zoellner, calling Cranor and Ayres "good people," said both men have extensive experience with personnel issues and administration. And the two men will have equal authority in the department, he said.
"I'm just honored that they're coming to work for me, to make a good organization a great organization," the sheriff said.