Sheriff Walter J. Hessler is the 25th individual to wear the badge of Columbia County Sheriff.
Hessler began his law enforcement career as a reserve deputy sheriff with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office in August of 1995. He became a full-time law enforcement officer in January of 1997 when he tested for and was chosen as a road deputy with the department. Since that time, he has held such positions as road deputy, Sergeant and Undersheriff under the administration of Sheriff James J. LaTour.
Sheriff Hessler was elected as Sheriff of Columbia County in November, 2006, taking office January 1, 2007. He was subsequently re-elected to the office again in November of 2010.
Sheriff Hessler takes the obligations and duties of his office very seriously. The vision he has for his office is simple...
"Our community will recognize the Columbia County Sheriff's Office as a progressive leader and trusted community partner, working to make Columbia County a safe, secure and productive place for people to work, live and go to school. We will have a solid reputation for respecting individual rights while aggressively pursuing criminals, arresting drug dealers and enforcing the law. We will be acknowledged for our commitment to make Columbia County a better place to live and an uncomfortable place for people who break the law."
The foundation that Sheriff Hessler has based his administration on include the qualities of trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, fairness, caring and citizenship. Sheriff Hessler believes very strongly in "leadership by example" and expects nothing less from every member of his staff.
All members of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office have taken to heart the agencies' mission statement:
"To make a positive difference for members of our community by seeking and finding ways to affirmatively promote, preserve and deliver security, safety and quality service."