Applications for Fairfield Twp. police chief filter in

Fairfield Twp. has started to receive a resumes from veteran police chiefs, including a couple that have retired in the past few years. The township will accept applications until May 31, 2017. FILE PHOTO
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Fairfield Twp. has started to receive a resumes from veteran police chiefs, including a couple that have retired in the past few years. The township will accept applications until May 31, 2017. FILE PHOTO

Five people from around the region have applied to be Fairfield Twp.’s next police chief.

And township Administrator Julie Vonderhaar says she anticipate several more resumes to come in by the application deadline at the end of this month.

“It’s going to come down to interviews and what the board wants,” she said.

RELATED: Fairfield Twp. police chief resigns

Former Fairfield Twp. police chief Matt Fruchey resigned in March, just a few years after being hired as chief. His resignation came just one month after one of his officers had his police cruiser stolen following a traffic stop, however, Fruchey and trustees said that did not lead to the resignation.

Trustees formally appointed on April 12 Fairfield Twp. Police Sgt. Doug Lanier as acting chief.

Those who applied so far, include:

  • Jeffrey Butler, a 30-year police veteran with the Cincinnati Police Department, currently serving as a police captain;
  • Robert Chabali, 36-year police veteran who retired in 2015 as assistant police chief with the Dayton Police Department;
  • Thomas Doyle, a 41-year police veteran resigned in April 2017 as the chief ranger of the Great Parks of Hamilton County. He was the police chief at the Greenville and Greenhills police departments;
  • Robert Merkle, a nearly 20-year police veteran, left policing in 2015 to practice law. He resides in Butler County and worked most of his career with the Springfield Twp. Police Department; and
  • Jeffrey Witte, a 35-year police veteran who retired in April 2016 as the village of Woodlawn's police chief.

MORE: How Fairfield Twp. will choose its next police chief

Vonderhaar knows of a couple others who have expressed interest in applying, but has not as of Thursday. That includes Lanier, who is expected to be the only internal candidate for the job. Lanier has been with the department for 16 years and has been a police officer for more than 20 years.

The position will pay between $85,000 and $93,000K and manage 19 sworn police officers.

Those interested in the position have until 3:30 p.m. May 31 to submit an application, and Vonderhaar said she’s aware of at least two others that have expressed interest.

The job has been posted in local newspapers, including the Journal-News, and the Ohio Police Chiefs Association website, “and that usually drive a wide range of candidates,” Vonderhaar said.

“I will anticipate a lot more will apply,” she said.

Though trustees discussed how the township could choose its next police chief, Vonderhaar said she’ll need clear direction on the approach.

Trustees discussed last month about possibly forming a committee of residents, a citizens police academy alum and a police chief from the surrounding area to narrow down the list of candidates for trustees to consider.

Vonderhaar said the only clear direction she had received from the board is to post the job. But the process, she said, will be extensive and thorough.

“We’ll do extensive background check, a credit report, an intense interview and we’re going to do the due diligence to bring in the right person,” Vonderhaar said. “That I’m certain of.”

And who’s picked, she said, “is going to come down to interviews and what the board wants.”

RELATED: Fairfield Twp. police chief’s personnel file hinted at resignation

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