But where he performs these duties often varies.
Harlow, an Erie County Sheriff’s deputy, spent most of 2013 in Afghanistan, wrapping up his third tour of duty.
As a member of the Ohio Army National Guard, Harlow also fought twice in Iraq, once from 2005 to 2006 and again in 2009 through 2010. Harlow often served overseas with people from northern Ohio, including those from Norwalk, Plymouth and Willard.
“I signed up post-9/11, as that was a good reason for any young man to join the military,” said Harlow, who enlisted about a year before graduating from Edison High School in 2004. “I have always been adventurous, and I wanted a challenge”
In Afghanistan, Harlow worked as a sergeant first class, overseeing mission planning and bomb detection, among other duties. “I saw a lot of really good people that are trained, skilled and willing to sacrifice,” Harlow said. “They’re willing to be away from their families, missing out on a promotion at work, as they put their civilian lives on hold”
For Harlow, that civilian life includes his wife, Shasta, and his daughter, Trinity, now 2 years old.
“I tried to call every night for 10 to 15 minutes a night,” Harlow said. “We didn’t have Skype or Internet access, since we were almost 6,000 feet above elevation”
Upon returning to his Milan Township home, Harlow still carries out missions — but now it’s Trinity issuing his orders.
“She likes to sing, dance and play guitar and expects Dad to do it with her,” Harlow said. “She said it’s ‘Daddy’s turn’ to tuck her into bed every night. I love being close to my family”
Harlow, who patrols areas throughout Erie County, said he’s happy sticking with his deputy duties for now. He’d like to develop a program where trained personnel would handle and neutralize explosive hazards in Erie County.
Harlow’s military service and ambition for law enforcement activities represent admirable traits, Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said. His experiences could lead to improvements in the county’s response to explosive hazards.
For instance, Harlow could coordinate with members of the Lorain County bomb squad when an explosives call comes from Erie County, which doesn’t have a bomb squad.
“He could be someone who could respond quicker and get the bomb squad up to speed of what the issue is and what they need to be prepared for,” Sigsworth said of Harlow. “He’s very well-respected and also is respectful. He is a great employee”