As a youth, Toledo police Capt. Derrick Diggs wanted to be a policeman. But he didn't see himself as a command officer, let alone a deputy chief.
Today, the 46-year-old Toledoan will find himself in one of the No. 2 roles when he is promoted, 24 years after joining the department.
“I want to make sure the community has a police department it can be proud of, a professional-style police department that will work with citizen groups,” said the captain, who will be promoted during an 11:30 a.m. ceremony in Government Center.
Police Chief Mike Navarre selected the captain from seven others who applied in July for the promotion. The position became available when one of the department's three deputy chiefs, Nate Ford, was hired in May as the executive director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
Captain Diggs will oversee the department's operations division, which includes uniformed officers, mounted and harbor patrols, and the aviation unit. He will earn $81,864 annually as deputy chief, about $8,100 more than he made as captain.
“Derrick was my No. 1 choice, and it was a difficult choice,” Chief Navarre said.
The chief said he looked at the candidates' experience, work record, department loyalty, and leadership qualities, among other things. He also wanted someone who would get along with community leaders.
“[Captain Diggs] is honest, hard working, and progressive. He's not stuck in yesteryear,” said Lt. Leo Eggert, of the aviation unit, who reported to the captain when he oversaw criminal investigations at the Scott Park district station.
Sgt. Jeff Sulewski, of the department's internal affairs section, said he has known the captain for 16 years even though he only started working for him in April when the captain was reassigned from the Scott Park station to internal affairs.
“I think he's a good man. He's fairly popular with mostly everybody. I've never heard anything bad,” the sergeant said.
Captain Diggs was promoted to sergeant in 1986, to lieutenant in 1990, and to captain in 1995. He has been assigned to field operations, community affairs, vice-metro drug unit, recruiting, and special enforcement.
He received a master's degree in public administration from the University of Toledo and has attended the FBI National Academy. He enjoys spending time with his son, 21, working out, and teaching a criminal justice administration course at Defiance College.
Captain Diggs said as deputy chief he wants to strengthen partnerships between neighborhood programs such as Block Watch and the police department.
He wants to make sure officers are properly equipped and trained in the resources available to them.
The acting deputy chief, Capt. Ron Spann, will return to the Scott Park station as commander on Friday. Capt. Diana Ruiz-Krause, the interim station commander, will learn Monday where she will be assigned.
Captains interested in the internal affairs position have until Monday to apply.