ISHPEMING — A former Delta County Undersheriff says he’s eager to begin serving as the county’s top law enforcement officer.

The Delta County Sheriff Appointment Board chose Ed Oswald to become the county’s new sheriff Monday morning. He’ll take over the position on October 18th, when Sheriff Gary Ballweg retires. Oswald says the announcement from his former boss took him by surprise.

“This was last-moment,” Oswald said. “Probably the day before or the day he announced, I was called in and had a talk with him and the undersheriff, but he did not know the date. He went over, and I think it was still that day, he came up with a day.”

The appointment board chose Oswald over retired former Escanaba Public Safety Detective Terry Pearson. Oswald served as undersheriff for ten years before retiring last December.

“It’s an excellent department; the employees are excellent,” Oswald said. “They really do a great job running the jail, the road patrol and the supervisors in each division, the marine division. I can’t say enough about the employees.”

He’ll serve the rest of Ballweg’s current term, which expires at the end of 2016. Oswald says he intends to run for a four-year term of his own at that point.