Wednesday, February 06, 2002

Mayor's pick for new police chief is old one

By Sarah Buehrle
Enquirer Contributor

        DAYTON, Ky. — The announcement of the city's new police chief drew protests from two people Tuesday night, which caused the mayor to bar further public comment on the issue during the City Council meeting.

        Mayor Ronald Gunning said the reappointment of Fred Hildebrant, Dayton's police chief from September 1997 to September 1999, was his alone to make after an audience member spoke out saying he strongly objected.

        “This appointment is not for debate or objection,” Mr. Gunning told the nearly 30 people present. “My decision is made and is final.”

        When another objection was voiced, Councilman Virgil Boruske presented a motion to not allow the public to speak further on the matter, and council voted 3-3. Mr. Gunning broke the tie to not allow public comment.

        “I think he's the best man for the job,” Mr. Gunning said later. “We had 14 applicants, and by far he stood out.”

        The two citizens who objected to Mr. Hildebrant's appointment left before the session was over and could not be reached for comment.

        Mr. Hildebrant left Dayton's police department for medical reasons, which he said have been addressed. Since then, he has been security supervisor for Turfway Park.

        Mr. Hildebrant said that he thinks everything will work out despite the protest.

        The new chief, whose salary is $42,000, will start Thursday. He replaces Greg Aylor, who took over as Dayton police chief in 1999. Mr. Aylor resigned Jan. 2, citing council interference.


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