Sheriff Matt Bayles was born and raised in Marion County. He was born into a first responder family as his father, uncle and cousin were Marion City Firefighters and his brother and brother-in-law were on the Marion Police Department, with his brother Robert also being the Administrator of the Marion/Hardin Multi-County Jail.
Sheriff Bayles graduated from Marion Harding High School in 1984 and earned a football scholarship to the University of Toledo. While at Toledo, Bayles met his future wife, Jennifer and they were married in 1992 and have 2 children, Kali and Bryce. Kali is currently a speech therapist in Columbus and Bryce is a freshman at Bowling Green State University, majoring in Criminal Justice.
Sheriff Bayles law enforcement career began at the Marion Police Department, where he started on December 31, 1989. During his time there he was one of the first canine handlers for the Department, serving 5 years handling a canine. He was also placed in charge of the program and served as its leader for 13 years. Sheriff Bayles was promoted and spent over 22 years as a sergeant and lieutenant at the Marion Police Department.
Sheriff Bayles received advanced training, graduating from the Police Executive Leadership College and the FBI National Academy, as well as dozens of advanced training classes from the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy.
Sheriff Bayles received numerous awards while at the police department, including being named 2 time MADD Officer of the Year, 2 meritorious awards, numerous letters of commendation, the MPACT ribbon, marksman ribbon, community service ribbon and the good conduct ribbon.
Sheriff Bayles retired from the Marion Police Department after 30 years of service and was elected Marion County Sheriff on November 3, 2020. He began his term in office on January 4, 2021.