Greg Simmons of Troy became Miami County’s newest commissioner Monday, Jan. 2, following his swearing in Dec. 27 at the commissioners’ hearing room at the county Safety Building.

Simmons was elected to the commission in the March Republican primary race with Commissioner Richard Cultice. Cultice retired effective Dec. 27 years after six years on the commission.

Before the swearing in, a prayer was offered by Simmons’ son, Aaron Simmons, pastor of the Upper Room Church in Tipp City.  Also was on hand was his other son, Matt Simmons, who is Troy’s fire chief.

Simmons, the former head of the West Central Juvenile Detention Center, was sworn in by Tony Kendell, county prosecutor.

Kendell said he had known Simmons for more than 20 years and considered him a “very dear friend.”

“I know he is going to do a great job, and we are all going to benefit from that,” Kendell said.

Before working in juvenile detention, Simmons worked for county Children Services and was chief probation officer. During the campaign, he said transparency to the community, security of the Safety Building and Courthouse and dealing with the heroin epidemic are among top issues facing the commission.

“What a privilege and honor it is to be able to serve Miami County. I am looking forward to it,” Simmons told those gathered to witness the oath of office.

He commended Cultice for his work for the county, thanking him for his years of service.

“Hopefully, I will be able to fill those shoes. I believe that I can. I believe that I bring a little bit of diversity to this office and I also believe that I will be able to learn,” Simmons said. “I know that Jack and Bud will help me along here. I am going to need it.”

Simmons said he would “do the very best job that I can for Miami County, and realize that I am a servant.”

Commissioner John E. “Jack” Evans, who was re-elected in the March primary, received his new oath of office Dec. 29 following the commission’s last meeting of 2016. He was sworn in by Jessica Lopez, the county recorder.

Commission terms are for four years. The third commissioner is John “Bud” O’Brien.