Westerville News & Public Opinion

Scowden, Taylor named assistant police chiefs

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City leaders have restructured the Westerville Division of Police, splitting its deputy chief position in two.

Police Chief Joe Morbitzer said he began re-evaluating the division's leadership structure about seven months ago, after Deputy Chief Del Robeson retired.

"That gave me a chance to step back, look at the position and evaluate what we need for the future," Morbitzer said. "When I got a chance to go back and look at it, with the diverse amount of services that we provide the public, we really needed to develop (the deputy chief position) a little more from the leadership side."

Morbitzer appointed Jon Scowden and George Taylor as assistant police chiefs. The two, who were to be sworn in before Westerville City Council Tuesday, Feb. 4, will share management responsibilities of the division's Community Services, Patrol, Investigations, Emergency Communications and Records bureaus.

Scowden has been a member of the Westerville Division of Police since 1993, and was promoted from lieutenant. He most recently served as head of Westerville's Investigations unit.

Scowden is a graduate of the Police Executive Leadership College and a 2013 graduate of the Certified Law Enforcement Executive Course, where he was the recipient of the Chief Michael C. Kallai Leadership Award.

Taylor retired as assistant police chief from the Toledo Police Department after 31 years of service. He also has served with the Lucas County Sheriff's Office and Rossford Police Department, and has been an instructor at the University of Toledo, Owens Community College and the Toledo Police Academy.

Morbitzer said Scowden's and Taylor's experience will create a nice complement as they work together in the new joint position.

"Assistant Chief Taylor has had the experience of a very large city," Morbitzer said. "Scowden is more familiar with the local level. They can really peer support each other and peer mentor each other as we move through the process."

Along with the naming of two assistant police chiefs, the division of police is undergoing several other staffing changes.

The Investigations Unit will be led by Lt. Ron McMillin, who was promoted from sergeant. McMillin has been a police officer since 1992 and joined the Westerville Division of Police in 2000.

McMillin graduated from the Supervisor Training and Education Program and the Police Executive Leadership College and is enrolled in the Certified Law Enforcement Executive Course.

Sgt. Brian Spoon has been promoted from corporal and serves in the patrol section on second shift. Spoon began his career in 1998 with the Ontario Police Department in Richland County. He came to Westerville in 2002 and has worked as a patrol officer, field training officer and detective.

Cpl. Greg LeValley also was promoted and will serve in the patrol bureau. LeValley joined Westerville police in 2000 after serving in the United States Marine Corps as a forward observer and intelligence analyst.

He has worked as a patrol officer and narcotics detective, as well as with the Delaware County Drug Task Force and several multi-jurisdictional task forces and federal agencies.

Overall, the division now has 74 full-time sworn officers and 38 full-time civilians, working in records and communications, for a total strength of 121, said city spokeswoman Christa Dickey.

Morbitzer said he believes the recent changes will serve the division well into the future.

"This will lead us into the next decade and beyond," he said. "You just can't sit with the same old positions that you have forever. That's not a smart business model."

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