A familiar face will be assuming the role of Tiffin's new police chief.
Fred Stevens, who has been serving as interim chief since January, was appointed the city's full-time police chief Wednesday.
"For a man who sacrificed a lot, put in a lot of work, and with God's blessing, it's an excellent choice," said Lt. Michelle Craig of the Tiffin Police Department.
PHOTO BY ERIKA PLATT-HANDRU
Mayor Aaron Montz speaks Wednesday morning during the announcement of Tiffin’s new police chief. Fred Stevens (right), who has been serving as the city’s interim chief since January, has been appointed to the full-time position. City Administrator Deb Reamer (left) looks on.
Mayor Aaron Montz, who announced the decision Wednesday morning at North Central Ohio Educational Service Center, said the search for the new chief was a long process.
"It was quite the grueling process," he said.
Earlier this month, the city had narrowed down the candidates to Stevens, George Taylor, deputy chief of the Toledo Police Department, and Michael Clancey, chief of the Saluda (S.C.) Police Department.
Montz said the city was looking for a leader who could earn respect and promote the attitude of Tiffin being a college town. The ability to meet the needs of the community also was an essential requirement in the search for a new chief.
"The chief must be a man of integrity and today, we have that man," Montz said.
Stevens, who filled in for former police chief Dave LaGrange in January after he accepted the position of police chief in Waterville, said he is extremely grateful for the opportunity.
At the announcement Wednesday, Stevens said promises to be responsive to any and all complaints and he would be the advocate of the Tiffin Police Department. He also said he would follow his own motto of "community first, police department second and officer third."
Stevens has been at the Tiffin Police Department since 1993 and has moved up the ranks. Awards earned include the medal of valor, two life-saving medals and five officer-of-the-year awards. Stevens also has served in Afghanistan, and from September 2009 until October 2010, was the senior lead advisor of the Ministry of Interior Afghan National Police Force. Earlier this year, he completed the FBI National Academy. He is working on his master's degree at Tiffin University.
City Administrator Deb Reamer said the decision to name Stevens as interim police chief was an easy one, and Stevens has shown great leadership since.
"It's fantastic to finally call him chief," she said.
Reamer said salary has not been set for Stevens, who will assume the role of police chief next week.
"I want to thank the many people who made this possible and to the men and women of the police department," Stevens said. "Without their support I would not be standing here today. I will strive daily to live up to this appointment."