Trevor “T.J.” Wild Sr. has been named the second in command at the Franklin County Sheriff’s office beginning next year.

Sheriff-elect Steve Pelton publicly announced the appointment of Wild to major Monday. He is currently a sergeant.

According to Pelton, Wild’s experience with the department and extensive training makes him a great fit in his new role.

“I made this decision based on T.J.’s loyalty and longevity to the office, as well as his education, experience and strong Christian values,” Pelton said.

“He understands that the office of the sheriff belongs to the people,” he added. “T.J. has always been a public servant and he is a great fit to the office.”

Wild joined the sheriff’s department in 1996 as a detention deputy under Sheriff Gary Toelke. He transferred to the patrol division the next year.

Wild has served the department in several capacities, including as a field training officer, defensive tactics/use of force instructor under the supervision of the late Capt. Steve Elliott, firearms instructor with the late Major Mike Copeland, and SWAT and incident commander.

As major, Wild will be the chief deputy and second in command at the sheriff’s office.

“He will be responsible for personnel and training,” Pelton commented. “He already is familiar with the inner workings of the office and the dynamics of the county.”

“T.J. will be my right-hand man,” Pelton added.

Wild has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in administration from Lindenwood University. He also serves as an adjunct instructor for Jefferson College.

He is a past recipient of the Deputy of the Year award from the Missouri Deputy Sheriff’s Association and he has received the Medal of Valor from the Crusaders Against Crimes.

Wild was awarded a Purple Heart for being wounded in 2006 while in the line of duty. He was shot during an armed standoff at a New Haven man’s home.

Mike Copeland had served as major since 1988. He died in March 2016 after battling cancer. .

According to Pelton, he will meet with Wild and others at the department to make further appointments to the command staff.

By Gregg Jones, Missourian Staff Writer