Sheriff Matt Lutz graduated from Philo High School in 1986, and enrolled in the Ohio Peace Officers’ Training Academy held at the Muskingum Area Technical College (now Zane State) in Zanesville. Matt graduated from the Academy and continued his education by attending classes and earning credits towards his Associate’s Degree.
On March 12, 1989, under Sheriff Bernie Gibson, Matt was hired full-time at the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office as a dispatcher before transferring to the Corrections Division. Matt then worked in this division while simultaneously working part-time as a patrol deputy until 1992 when he was transferred to the Road Division where he worked with the Muskingum County Litter & Recycling Agency. He also was assigned to patrol the villages of Philo and Frazeysburg. Matt continued in this position until 1994 when his life took an abrupt turn.
On July 12, 1994, Matt’s father, Lt. Michael J. Lutz of the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office, was killed in the line of duty. Mike was shot while investigating a break-in of a business in South Zanesville. This tragedy caused Matt to re-evaluate his career and many told him later that they did not think he would return to law enforcement. Matt took an extended leave from work grieving for his father and contemplating whether he would return to law enforcement. In the end, Matt thought about what his father would want him to do. He then decided to continue the tradition his father had started and he made the decision to return to the Sheriff’s Office.
Matt transferred to a full-time road deputy position and on December 10, 1994 was promoted to the rank of Patrol Sergeant. He was assigned to the midnight shift where he worked the entire year of 1995. In 1996, Matt was then assigned to day shift as the sergeant where he worked in 1996, 1997 and the first part of 1998.
On July 11, 1998, Matt was promoted to the rank of Patrol Lieutenant. This promotion was very special for Matt as it was the same rank his father had held. Matt was then assigned to the afternoon shift and remained as the afternoon shift supervisor until the year 2000.
In November 2000, Matt voluntarily gave up his lieutenant’s position to be assigned to the Detective Bureau’s Narcotics Unit. While assigned to this position he worked as an undercover officer, making drug buys and several felony arrests for drug trafficking and possession.
In November 2003, Matt transferred to the General Case Detective Bureau at the Sheriff’s Office. There he investigated a multitude of crimes including theft, robbery, financial crimes and homicides. Matt worked in this capacity until 2006.
On January 4, 2006, Matt was promoted to Detective Sergeant. In this position, Matt supervised the Narcotics Unit and assisted them on their drug investigations. He also investigated cases assigned to the General Case Detective Division and assisted in supervising this unit. He continued in this position until 2007.
In July 2007, Matt made the most important decision of his law enforcement career. Along the way, Matt had developed a strong desire to become the next Sheriff of Muskingum County. He made the decision to follow this desire. On July 3, 2007, Matt was appointed the new Chief of Police in South Zanesville and on July 4, 2007, he resigned from the Sheriff’s Office. In this position, Matt would learn about the administration side of law enforcement and this would enable him to fulfill the requirements of a candidate for the office of Sheriff.
On March 4, 2008, the citizens of Muskingum County elected Matt as their next Sheriff. Matt assumed the position of Acting Sheriff on December 31, 2008 when Sheriff Bob Stephenson retired and on January 5, 2009 Matt began his tenure as Elected Sheriff of Muskingum County.