Jason Klaus sworn in as new Perry County sheriff

PERRYVILLE, Mo. (KBSI) – Perry County, Missouri officially has a new sheriff.

The Perry County Commission appointed Detective Jason Klaus as the new Perry County sheriff in Thursday’s regular session meeting. Klaus was sworn in immediately following the commission’s unanimous decision.

Former Perry County Sheriff Gary Schaaf retired on September 30.

Klaus was serving as the sheriff’s department manager over the last two weeks while the commission solicited applications from those who met the state-mandated requirements to serve as sheriff. The group reviewed recommendations from a variety of sources, both inside the sheriff’s department, and external community groups before determining Klaus should serve as the new sheriff.

Klaus has more than 20 years of experience at the sheriff’s department.

“We received letters of support for Jason Klaus from both the Republican and Democratic Central Committees,” Presiding Commissioner Mike Sauer said. “His coworkers at the department, and former sheriff Gary Schaaf also said Klaus was the right person for the job. The fact that people in this community who are also qualified to serve as sheriff didn’t apply, but instead lent their support to Jason speaks volumes.”

District One Commissioner Jay Wengert said the commissioners were approached many times by residents who wanted to let then know they felt Jason Klaus should be the next Perry County sheriff.

The Perry County sheriff seat will be on the ballot again in the August Primary, and November General Elections in 2024.

Klaus’s term will expire on December 31, 2024.

Sheriff Jason Klaus is a lifelong Perry County resident. He started his law enforcement career with the Perry County Sheriff’s Department in 1996 where he has served as a jail officer, road deputy and detective. He is a 1994 graduate of Perryville High School, with a degree in Criminal Justice from Southeast Missouri State University. He graduated from Southeast Missouri Law Enforcement Academy in 1996. Klaus was the first to serve as Perry County District 32 School Resource Officer, a position he held from 1998 to 2011. He also serves as Missouri’s statewide Crisis Intervention Team Coordinator. He is an alderman for the City of Frohna, a board member for Southeast Missouri Prevention Resource Center, chairmen of Southeast Missouri CIT Council, and was appointed by Governor Mike Parson to Missouri Justice Reinvestment Executive Oversight Council. Klaus is a past member of several other community boards and organizations. He is a member of Concordia Lutheran Church in Frohna and serves as Evangelism Chair for the church. He and his wife Kimberly have two daughters.

“It is with great humility that I accept the appointment by the Perry County Commission the office of Perry County Sheriff,” Sheriff Klaus said. “This has been a lifelong desire to serve in this position. Today it is a reality, and it is something I take very seriously. I understand the monumental responsibility that comes with such a role.”

Klaus thanked former sheriff Gary Schaaf for his leadership through the years.

“I have served under Sheriff Schaaf my entire law enforcement career,” Klaus said. “He has been a tremendous mentor for me, and I am forever grateful.”

Watch the video below of former Perry County Sheriff Gary Schaaf signing off for the final time on Sept. 30.

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