Wolthoff retires after four decades in law enforcement

Robert Maharry

Tim Wolthoff was in his early 20s driving truck for a Wellsburg-based gravel hauling company, and he’d just purchased a brand new Citizens Band (CB) radio. When he reported for work on a Monday morning, it was gone: the whole fleet had been robbed. Up to that point, he’d wavered on what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, but in a moment of clarity, he made up his mind.
After over 40 years in law enforcement, 37 years with the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office and the last two as the county’s emergency management coordinator, Wolthoff, who climbed the ladder to the position of Chief Deputy, reported for duty for the final time last week and capped an illustrious career in the same town where he grew up and went to high school.
In reflecting on his tenure, colleagues recalled the Chief Deputy’s wealth of local knowledge, his knack for breaking burglary cases and his ability to form bonds with people who would have otherwise been adversaries.
Hometown boy
Upon graduating from GCHS, Wolthoff considered becoming an Industrial Arts instructor, studying at both Ellsworth Community College and Iowa State University, and after a bad motorcycle accident left him laid up for most of a summer between schools, he took a job at John Deere in Waterloo. He’d had a long-running curiosity about law enforcement, but the aforementioned incident sealed the deal.
“I had a scanner and was always interested in listening to the guys out there and the radios,” he said.
Insurance wouldn’t cover the stolen radio, and he was out over $200— Wolthoff was “torqued.” Before long, he was enrolled in the police science program at Hawkeye Community College, working part-time as store security and working part-time with the now-defunct Dike Police Department. 
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