BRUNSWICK — Lt. Brian Ohlin will be the city’s police chief, effective June 3.
He succeeds Carl DeForest, who was appointed Dec. 3 by City Council to become city manager.
DeForest, 54, has been acting city manager and police chief since June 27, 2016, after Anthony Bales was fired for undisclosed performance reasons. DeForest has worked in the police department for 25 years.
Ohlin, a 22-year veteran, joined the department in February 1995 as a patrol officer and was promoted to sergeant in April 2000. He was appointed as temporary acting police lieutenant in September 2006 and officially promoted to lieutenant in February 2007.
“I’m very honored to have the opportunity to serve the city of Brunswick in this capacity and continue to work with fine team of professionals here and I value the opportunity to lead the organization into the future,” Ohlin said Tuesday. “I certainly find the strength in our success based upon the working employees here. I appreciate their hard work every day in protecting the citizens of our community.”
Ohlin, 49, was one of three internal candidates being considered for the position.
DeForest described Ohlin as a “paragon of professionalism.”
“I know he’ll do an exceptional job,” DeForest said. “He’s well respected within law enforcement, the community and Medina County in particular. He’s established working relationships, friendships and different coalitions and a team environment.”
Ohlin’s lieutenant salary is $88,496. DeForest said Ohlin’s new salary had not been negotiated as of Tuesday.
One of Ohlin’s first tasks will be to promote within to fill his vacancy. He said potential candidates are Sgt. Steve Hoover and Sgt. Doug Laino.
“They’re both eligible on the (promotional) list (from civil services),” Ohlin said. “We will be selecting one of them to be promoted and that will create an opening in the sergeant rank. We are already in the process of hiring a new police officer.”
Ohlin said the department will announce the new lieutenant within the next month.
Ohlin represents Brunswick police in numerous coalitions that connect the department with local agencies.
“The program I’m most proud of is the OVI Task Force,” he said. “That was something I’ve been involved with since its beginning in 2008.”
The task force is a coalition of Medina County law enforcement agencies including the Medina County Sheriff’s Office and the Medina post of the Ohio Highway Patrol. The group patrols one specific area in the county on a particular night looking for impaired drivers.
He’s also been involved with the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force and serves on an advisory committee for Region 5 of the Office of Ohio Homeland Security.
The advisory committee, he said, focuses on the use of technology to assist law enforcement.
“We’ve been able to bring enhanced capabilities to our organization, including cell phone forensics, training for the detective bureau and a laser fingerprint scanner for the jail,” he said. “With advanced criminal development, we need all the tools we can get in order to do our job more efficiently.”
Ohlin also is involved with the Medina County Opiate Task Force and Greater Than Heroin group led by St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Brunswick.
“In order to provide a safe and secure community, we can’t do without the partnerships,” Ohlin said. “I see a great value in the partnerships and I will continue to look for those opportunities in advancing what we’re doing today for our organization.”
One of his primary goals as chief, Ohlin said, is to continue to engage the community in the department’s efforts, including its social media presence, school resource officers and citizens police academy.
“We’re very proud of what we’ve built but we never want to rest and go stagnant … we always want to look for other opportunities to engage different groups,” he said. “I think it’s important to have an active presence on Facebook and Twitter because that’s how many people get their information. We need to be where the people are.”
Ohlin began his law enforcement career working as a student aide for the Miami University Police Department in Butler County while enrolled at the university. He also was a certified EMT and volunteered at the Oxford Fire Department.
When he returned home to the Cleveland area in the summer, he served as an assistant ranger for the Cleveland Metroparks.
“My experience and exposure during those part-time jobs piqued my interest to pursue this as a career,” Ohlin said.
He graduated from Miami University in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in public administration with an emphasis on criminal justice and a minor in political science. He received his Certified Ohio Peace Officer’s Training Certificate in 1990 from the Butler County Peace Officer’s Academy.
Ohlin then was hired as a police officer for the campus police department, where he spent a year before becoming a patrol officer and certified evidence technician for the Centerville Police Department in Montgomery County.
In 2011, Ohlin completed his training as a Certified Law Enforcement Executive from the Ohio Law Enforcement Foundation and the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police.
“The more I learned about the field, the more my interest was piqued and set at being chief,” Ohlin said. “I’m grateful for opportunity to have advanced through the ranks in my career and I’m excited to be able to finish my time here as the chief.”
Ohlin lives in Brunswick with his wife Kristie. He has three children: Erik, 23; Kevin, 21; and Nicole, 18.
Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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