- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The state Department of Public Safety says Ohio’s homeland security chief, Richard Baron, has died after an illness.

A department spokesman says the 54-year-old Baron died Tuesday in Columbus at Ohio State University’s James Cancer Hospital.

The agency says Baron worked in public safety and emergency services for three decades. He served with the State Highway Patrol for 25 years and had led Ohio Homeland Security since 2011.

In a statement, public safety Director John Born praised Baron as an inspiration to colleagues, noting Baron had tried to return to work whenever he could during the course of his illness.

Patrol Staff Lt. Rick Zwayer has been acting director at Ohio Homeland Security since mid-May and will succeed Baron as executive director.

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