PORT CLINTON- Cardale Jones propelled Ohio State to a national title, now the NFL player is tackling a new role closer to home.
"I swore him in, in July of 2017 as a special deputy in hopes that he would bring his ability to communicate with the youth to our community," said Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Levorchick.
The Cleveland native is working to make a difference off the field by changing perception of law enforcement. In the role of Special Deputy, Sheriff Levorchick says he can bridge gaps between community members and the deputies who serve them. Jones' first official assignment is already making a strong impression.
"With a big name like that the kids are going to look up to him and they're going to listen to him," explained Trinity United Church of Christ Pastor Kyle Timmons in Elliston.
Pastor Timmons tells Fox 8 they needed a speaker for the their father and son church banquet Friday. They never imagined they could convince the start to show, but he did and even signed countless autographs.
"He definitely makes a good connection to all ages doesn't matter," said Pastor Timmons. "We had a 1- year-old here and a 95-year-old here so it was neat to see everybody had smiles on their faces."
Although many athletes donate money towards causes, and organizations they support but not all donate their time. Both Pastor Timmons and Sheriff Levorchick say they hope having a big name in law enforcement who leads by example in their smaller communities changes the minds of those there about what officers and deputies can be and do everyday.
"My hope is to get out here with him in uniform and walk through our schools and just surprise some of the kids," said the Sheriff. "Let them see Cardale in a Sheriff office uniform rather than a NFL uniform and let them see the cops aren't necessarily the bad guys."
Jones, a current LA Charger and friend to the Sheriff will act as an ambassador for the office.
**More on Cardale Jones here**