Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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Police & Fire

Walbridge gets new police chief after long search

The Walbridge Police Department found its next chief after nearly a year of searching.

Walbridge Village Council recently approved the hiring of longtime Northwood officer Kenneth Campbell to lead their department. The unanimous vote followed a recommendation by Mayor Ed Kolanko.

Kenneth-Campbell

Northwood police officer Kenneth Campbell, right, being sworn in as chief of Walbridge police.

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“I went to school for criminal justice administration, so it was the natural progression,” Chief Campbell said. “When the position got posted, my wife and I talked extensively about it. I decided to apply and see what happened.”

Chief Campbell grew up in Toledo and graduated from Whitmer High School. He obtained college degrees from the University of Toledo and Tiffin University.

Mayor Kolanko said he was impressed with the new hire’s background.

“He has a pretty extensive resume as an instructor, whether it’s as a fire instructor or one of the other certifications he has,” Mr. Kolanko said. “I think that’s really going to enhance our department. It’s a combination of his background, certifications, and experiences he’s bringing here.”

Chief Campbell started his career with the Bradner Police Department before moving to Northwood, where he has served as an officer for the past 23 years. He also had a brief stint in Pemberville.

Chief Campbell said he is looking forward to working with the department’s young officers and getting to know them.

“The first thing I need to do is learn about them and what motivates them,” Chief Campbell said. “Not everyone fits in the same mold, so I need to learn their personalities and what makes them tick.”

Mr. Campbell said he also will review department policies, which haven’t been looked at in at least a dozen years.

Twelve people applied for police chief. Acting supervisor Chris Rutledge did not apply and will return to his patrolman and detective duties.

Chief Campbell’s three-year contract will pay him $61,500 annually. He starts June 1.

“I am not an office person; I like to be out,” he said. “That was part of the agreement; that I would be a working chief. So I will be out there doing as much as I can. It’s going to be a balancing act between the road, answering calls for service, and doing the administrative things.”

Former Chief Walt Tylicki committed suicide in July, 2017. His body was found in a wooded area near Brownstown Township in Michigan.

Contact Jay Skebba at jskebba@theblade.com, 419-376-9414, or on Twitter @JaySkebba.

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