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Lifelong Cedarville resident retires after 15 years as police chief

Cedarville police has a new police chief after Chris Gillaugh retired from the position following his 38-year career in law enforcement.

Burton Roberts was sworn in as the new police chief earlier this month after he was hired in April as a sergeant for the department, according to Mayor Bob Fudge.

Roberts was hired as chief at an annual salary of $52,500.

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Roberts is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, serving in Operations Desert Shief and Desert Storm, and is an instructor for the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy, according to the village.

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Roberts has been in law enforcement since 1992 when he was hired by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. He most recently served as a sergeant for Springfield Twp. police in Hamilton County, where he was an instructor for the citizens police academy.

Fudge said Roberts will be looking to start a similar citizens police academy in Cedarville.

“Chief Burt Roberts and his wife Dawn are relative newcomers to the Cedarville community and have yet to find their new home in the area,” Fudge said. “However, they have been warmly welcomed and plan to make Cedarville their home for many years to come.”

Gillaugh, 57, began his retirement at the end of July.

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“Chief Gillaugh … was honored by numerous community members, organizations, and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine at his retirement ceremony last month,” Fudge said.

The lifelong Cedarville resident served as the police chief for 15 years, but his career was nearly cut short when he learned in 2012 that he needed a liver transplant.

Gillaugh had to wait more than a year before a suitable donor was found. In an interview following the successful surgery, Gillaugh told the Dayton Daily News that he felt “blessed” for getting a second chance.

Gillaugh and his brother Tony are known for celebrating with the community during the holidays, especially Halloween, when the small police station on East Xenia Avenue is transformed with decorations, neon lights and piles of king-size candy bars.

Gillaugh expressed gratitude to his staff and others when they gathered to hear his final call from the emergency dispatch center.

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Video of the touching moment has been posted to the Cedarville police Facebook page.

“It’s been my honor to represent Cedarville as the police chief. Lifelong goal. By the grace of God I was able to meet it,” Gillaugh said. “Being able to do 15 years as the chief, you know I am blessed … I look forward to spending time with my family, but I tell you what, nothing can mean any more than the support that I’ve had from all of you.”

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