Saturday, March 02, 2002

Dayton set to appoint police chief

Mayor choosing one from 15 who applied

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DAYTON, Ky. — The mayor is expected to name a new police chief today, three weeks after the former chief abruptly resigned after only one day on the job.

        Mayor Ronald “Ron” Gunning would not release the name of the finalists.

        The city received 15 applications for chief. The search was narrowed to four, who were interviewed by Mr. Gunning and two council members — safety committee chair Robert “Bobby” Allen and Virgil Boruske. Mr. Gunning, who has the power to hire and fire the chief, said he then narrowed the search to two finalists. One is an officer in Ohio while the other is an officer at another agency in Kentucky.

        The job pays $40,000-$45,000 annually.

        “I'm looking for someone who can make this a place where officers want to come work.” Mr. Gunning said. “Someone to add stability.”

        One of the major tasks facing a new chief will be to fill vacant positions. Though the council had pledged not to allow the force to drop below eight officers, recent resignations have left the department with only five active officers. In October 1999, the department had 10 officers.

        Officer Scott Dames is leaving next week to take a job in Elsmere, but is being replaced by Officer Mike Puckett, who left Dayton Police about two years ago to go back to school.

        Mr. Boruske said the candidates for chief were strong. He said he was looking for someone who had strong community policing skills and would revive the anti-drug DARE program in the city's schools. “I'll just be glad to get a police chief in there,” Mr. Boruske said. “We are way overdue.”

        He said both of the finalists have indicated they would like to stay in the position for at least 10 years.

        Vice Mayor Cathy Volter said it is important to hire a new chief quickly.

        “We have officers working overtime, so I feel like we are receiving police protection,” she said. “I'm sure no one likes working long hours, and it could eventually take its toll.”

        On Jan. 3, Police Chief Greg Aylor announced he was leaving to take a lower paying patrolman's job with Erlanger. He served as the department's chief for more than two years.

        The city moved quickly to fill the chief's spot, hiring Fred Hildebrant. Mr. Hildebrant, who retired as Dayton's police chief in late 1999, resigned after only one day on the job.


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