Smiling and shaking hands with city officials and residents, the new lieutenant of the Ohio State Highway Patrol seemed more like a good-natured neighbor than an authority figure.
His approachable presence and quiet leadership will be important assets as he works to mend racial relations in Sandusky, officials say.
Lt. Darryl L. Edge, 49, took over in June as the new post commander, replacing Greg Greggila, who requested a transfer and demotion in connection with a racist prank that took place at the post earlier this year.
"We're looking forward to closing some gaps, not just with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, but with all officials," Sandusky NAACP Chapter President Ida Alexander said Sunday at the Washington Park gazebo, where about 30 people gathered to welcome Edge. "I think this is the beginning of a good relationship with Sandusky -- we all have to be on the same page to make this a better community."
Mike Printy, who is running for Erie County Commissioner, said he thinks Edge can help to bring positive changes.
"You were hand-picked for this position -- that means you're a special person, and we're a special place," Printy said, "So we're a good fit for each other."
Edge, a native of Lima, was accompanied by his wife of 27 years, Dawnis, and their daughter, D'sha, 14. The couple also have two sons, Daniel, 22, and Darryl Jr., 25.
They are in the process of moving from Delaware, Ohio.
As the new commander, Edge said one of his goals is to make the post and its troopers more accessible and visible to the public. As the post commemorates its 75th anniversary this year, he plans to host a community celebration from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday.
"I've got good people at this post; we have nothing to worry about," he said, nodding to the four troopers who accompanied him to the meet-and-greet event. "That's all I have to say."
Trooper Anthony Brady, who serves as a recruiter for the northwest Ohio region of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said he views Edge as the epitome of leadership. As a recruiter hoping to raise the level of diversity among troopers, Brady said he looks up to him and considers him an ideal fit for Sandusky.
"He wears many hats," Brady said. "He's brave enough to step up to the plate and wear each one at given times."
Edge will report to Capt. Herb Homan, who oversees 10 posts in the district.