The only woman to lead the Upper Arlington Police Division as its chief retired last weekend, stepping down to join the Ohio State University Police Department.

Tracy Hahn retired Sept. 22 after 25 years with the department, the past two as chief.

Hahn said the decision came after she decided to take a post as deputy chief of the Ohio State Police Department, a job she'll start in roughly a month.

"I just saw it as an opportunity to have some positive influence on a different type of community, younger people," Hahn said. "I've been here 25 years, so I thought I'd go out on a good note. My 25 years came in August."

In her place, Lt. Jon Wilhelm, who has overseen the division's Criminal Investigations Section, has been named interim chief.

"One always hopes when filling a leadership position that the chosen candidate will be in the role for a number of years, but I understand that circumstances are different and constantly evolving for all of us," City Manager Ted Staton said. "Chief Hahn is ready for a new phase and I understand and respect her decision.

"I wish her well in her future endeavors."

Assistant City Manager Dan Ralley said the search for a new police chief likely will start by the beginning of October. He anticipates it will be a national search.

Ralley said it has yet to be determined how many candidates the city would interview to replace Hahn, and he said no decisions had been made as to who would take part in the screening process.

As chief, Hahn received an annual salary of $124,408, as well as $46,122 worth of annual employee benefits.

Ralley said the city would like candidates with experience in departments that are similar in size in terms of manpower and service areas as the UAPD.

Ultimately, a new police chief will be selected by the city manager, he said.

Hahn said she "truly enjoyed" working in Upper Arlington and called her staff "exceptional." She said the city "is left in good hands with the people taking over here."

In June 2016, Hahn became the first woman to become police chief in Upper Arlington.

A"For me, I'm a police officer," she said at the time. "Yes, I might be a female police officer, but in my mind, I never made that distinction."

The day before her retirement became official, she said she was proud to be a trailblazer for women in the department and in law enforcement, and she hoped her work created paths for other women and inspired them to pursue the professional dreams.

"For me, every promotion I've had, I've been the first female to get that promotion in the police department," she said. "I'm very proud of that, and I think that I've mentored other women in the department so they will be able to move up through the ranks, as well, over time. That's been important to me."

Hahn added that she had too many memories to recount or single out during her tenure, but recalled community events fondly.

Among them, she said, were the Upper Arlington Civic Association's annual July Fourth parade and working with the police department's Pumpkin Patrol at Halloween when the department helps send out marked city trucks with volunteer city employees to patrol neighborhoods and assist children if they become lost or scared while trick-or-treating.

"One of my favorite things is on beggars night on Halloween doing the Pumpkin Patrol, going out and seeing all the kids and being an extra set of eyes for the police department and helping out with things," Hahn said. "Then being able to see all the kids just having a good time in our community -- that's one of my favorite things to do."

In leaving her post, Hahn said she wanted to thank the community and all of the men and women of the police department for "25 great years."

"Thank you so much for a wonderful career that I've had," she said.

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