Friday, August 10, 2001

Ludlow chief resigns

Collins may run for sheriff

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LUDLOW — After months of speculation, Ludlow Police Chief Tom Collins said Thursday night that he is resigning, effective Sept. 1, to pursue other career opportunities, including a probable run for Kenton County sheriff next year.

        “My heart's in this community, bottom line, and I will continue to do what I can to help this community, no matter what I do in the future,” Chief Collins said after Thursday's City Council meeting.

        Chief Collins, 45, said he has talked to a couple of other police agencies about possible employment.

        “I've got till January to make up my mind” about filing for a four-year sheriff's term, Chief Collins said. He said his probable candidacy “has nothing to do with removing (Sheriff) Chuck Korzenborn.” The 22-year police veteran said that his would be a grass-roots campaign focusing on his merits and experience.

        Reached at his Edgewood home Thursday night, Sheriff Korzenborn said it was the first he'd heard of Chief Collins' possible candidacy, but he added, “Everybody's free to run.”

        Known for his community-oriented policing program in Ludlow, Chief Collins said he would continue that philosophy as sheriff should he seek the office. He said he would actively recruit good personnel and would support small departments by providing services that they lack, such as a search-and-rescue dog.

        Ludlow Mayor Ed Schroeder and the four City Council members at Thursday's council meeting accepted Chief Collins' resignation with regret.

        “You've done a lot for the city,” Mr. Schroeder said, echoing comments by council members. “You're going to be a hard man to replace.”

        Council members said they plan to honor Ludlow's 12-year police chief with a reception before their Aug. 23 meeting at the Ludlow Senior Center. They would not rule out choosing Ludlow's next police chief from within the department, but said they want to advertise in Ohio and Kentucky for Mr. Collins' successor.

        Chief Collins tendered his resignation after City Council voted Thursday to pay him $20,000 in back overtime that the chief calculated — and the city clerk/treasurer agreed — he was owed. The money was accrued during a former mayor's 2 1/2-year administration that ended in May.

        Chief Collins, who estimated he was owed as much as $34,000, settled for $20,000. The extra pay will increase his pension when he retires.

        The overtime was accrued during the administration of former Mayor Tom Stacy, who resigned May 4 under pressure.


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