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Published: Friday, 2/18/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Families, mayor celebrate police officers' promotions

BY MIKE SIGOV
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Newly promoted Lt. Kelli Russell receives a kiss and her new lieutenant's badge from her husband, Sgt. Corey Russell, during the Toledo police promotions ceremony while Chief Mike Navarre, left, watches. Newly promoted Lt. Kelli Russell receives a kiss and her new lieutenant's badge from her husband, Sgt. Corey Russell, during the Toledo police promotions ceremony while Chief Mike Navarre, left, watches.
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Toledo Police Detective Jay Gast says his wife is the one in charge.

As of Thursday, it is official.

Sgt. Laurie Renz was one of seven officers to receive a sergeant's badge from Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre, who also announced two promotions to deputy chiefs, two to captains, and four to lieutenants during a ceremony inside City Council Chambers at One Government Center.

"I think we work together, raising our child. And we bounce ideas off one another," Sergeant Renz, 38, said. "It's a good relationship. He understands my job. He understands [my] leaving in the middle of the night, taking care of our child. He's just an wonderful partner to have, very supportive, excellent."

A similar experience occurred for Lt. Kelli Russell, who told the audience that she was pregnant when she was going through the promotion process and that she was nine months' pregnant when she took her lieutenant's exam.

Having thanked her husband, Toledo police Sgt. Corey Russell, for his support, Lieutenant Russell said, "in our homestead, I am in charge," at which time she was interrupted by laughter and applause.

Sgt. Laurie Renz, with husband Detective Jay Gast, is a Whitmer High graduate who has been on the force since 1997. Sgt. Laurie Renz, with husband Detective Jay Gast, is a Whitmer High graduate who has been on the force since 1997.
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A Toledo native and a Whitmer High School graduate, Sergeant Renz, who has a bachelor's degree in criminology and criminal justice from Ohio State University, was hired as a Toledo police officer in January, 1997. She previously worked as a counselor at the Lucas County jail for a few years.

She was already a police officer when she met her would-be husband about eight years ago at the Lucas County courthouse.

"We were talking about his case and he just made a great impression," Sergeant Renz said.

They have been married five years and have a 2-year-old son.

"I feel elated. This is a great opportunity," Sergeant Renz said of her promotion.

Asked how she and her husband are going to celebrate, she said she had to work and her husband was tied up in court, so they were looking forward to "a nice, quiet weekend."

Newly promoted Toledo Police Captain Benjamin Tucker, right, is congratulated by his wife, Patricia Tucker. Newly promoted Toledo Police Captain Benjamin Tucker, right, is congratulated by his wife, Patricia Tucker.
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During his address at the ceremony, Toledo Mayor Mike Bell told the promoted and their fellow officers that their "job of protecting the public is extremely important to our city."

Mayor Bell then thanked the promoted officers and their families for their support to the former, especially during the promotion process, because of "the pressure that the promotion process puts on the families."

The ceremony attendees filled the council chambers over capacity, with dozens of uniformed officers standing along the walls.

Also honored during the ceremony was Officer Bob Adams ,who received Badge No. 1 as the department's longest-serving police officer. Officer Adams, 59, is a patrolman. He was hired July 12, 1977, according to city records.

A total of 15 veteran Toledo officers were promoted Thursday. They are:

New deputy chiefs:

■ Capt. Diana Ruiz-Krause, 52, who has been on the force since 1983.

■ Capt. George Taylor, 54, on the force since 1982.

New captains:

■ Lt. Benjamin Tucker, 54, who has been on the force since 1983.

■ Lt. George Kral, 44, on the force since 1990.

New lieutenants:

■ Sgt. James Brown, 46, who has been on the force since 1999.

■ Sgt. Kelli Russell, 35, on the force since 2000.

■ Sgt. Jason Brown, 39, who has been on the force since 1997.

■ Sgt. Waylond Rider, 48, on the force since 1985.

New sergeants:

■ Officer Steven Lamb, 50, who has been on the force since 1997.

■ Officer Ronald Permar, 43, on the force since 1992.

■ Officer Duane Poole, 41, on the force since 1993.

■ Officer Roy Kennedy, 36, on the force since 2001.

■ Officer Laurie Renz, 38, on the force since 1997.

■ Officer Paul Cunningham, 43, on the force since 1994.

■ Officer Patricia Gomez, 46, on the force since 1993.

Contact Mike Sigov at: sigov@theblade.com or 419-724-6089.



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