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Elmwood Place names interim police chief after department loses half of staff

Elmwood Place police cruiser
Posted at 12:06 AM, Apr 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-21 00:06:19-04

ELMWOOD PLACE, Ohio — Elwood Place named an interim police chief Wednesday, less than one week after the department lost half of its staff.

Officer Kevin Kelsey will serve as chief until a permanent one can be found, the city council decided. Kelsey, employed since 2020, is one of the department's two full-time officers.

Mayor Joseph Anneken confirmed the department is operating with only two officers April 18 after former Chief Eric Bartlet resigned and another officer quit before their shift the next day.

In his resignation letter to the village, Bartlet wrote, “I have been offered a position with another employer in which I had to do soul searching and think about my family’s and my future, the future of Elmwood, financials, amongst other things.”

He continued by writing, “The hard truths are staring at us. The desire to enter law enforcement, the evaporation of the hiring pool, and decision we as a Village have made sustaining a police department almost an impossibility. Departments of which pay substantially into the 80s and 90-thousands are having a tough time. If we do not rethink things and make changes of which need to be made our police department will disappear.”

After the resignations, Kelsey and the only other remaining officer spoke about their concerns over scanners, discussing how they need to "pick and choose (their) battles wisely" without anyone to report to.

Anneken said they have part-time officers helping out along with nearby law enforcement agencies at this time. He said he would like to raise wages, noting a levy on the upcoming ballot that would help that.

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