Westerville has a new police chief.

The city announced Aug. 9 that Charles “Cappy” Chandler will become the city’s next police chief effective Sunday, Aug. 18.

Chandler, 45, is a 24-year law enforcement veteran, with 18 years of service at the Westerville Division of Police.

He has served as assistant chief of police since December 2018, including four months as acting chief of police earlier this year.

Charles “Cappy” Chandler was today announced the City’s next Chief of @WestervillePD by City Manager David Collinsworth. #Westerville City Council will vote to confirm the appointment next Tuesday. Read more on the City's website: https://t.co/DxwBJ4rpQq. pic.twitter.com/ItiVTo2KKH

— City of Westerville (@tellwesterville) August 9, 2019

Chandler said serving as Westerville’s police chief means “the world” to him.

“I knew the announcement would come today,” he said. “My mother (Joyce) passed in 1998 and my father (Randall) in 2014. I stopped to see them this morning (at the cemetery) and thanked them for giving me the tools to accomplish something like this.”

Chandler will be paid an annual salary of $129,000 plus benefits, said Christa Dickey, Westerville community-affairs director.

Chandler said Westerville residents can be assured the police division will maintain strong community relationships with partners including the city schools, Otterbein University and Uptown Westerville businesses.

“We plan to put emphasis on investigations,” he said. “We want to go after those causing the opioid overdoses.”

The Morrow County resident said he’s focused on the idea of “community first,” and he will carry that forward in meeting the high expectations Westerville has of its division of police and its chief.

“This is an important time for our city, its growth, and the future of the WPD, and I am fully prepared to maintain our public-safety priorities as we move into a new decade,” Chandler said.

He said some changes will be made after talking to command staff and programming and staff are evaluated.

Westerville City Manager David Collinsworth said Westerville City Council will vote to confirm the appointment at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13.

The job of police chief has been vacant since the end of January 2019, when Joseph Morbitzer was appointed superintendent of the state of Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation by Attorney General Dave Yost.

Chandler and assistant deputy chief Holly Murchland were on a three-month rotation as acting police chiefs.

Collinsworth said the selection process was competitive, with strong interest from candidates across the region and the state.

“Not only were Chief Chandler’s qualifications and experience a good match, but he is already part of the fabric of our community and has been instrumental in the success of the division,” he said. “I’m proud we have the opportunity to promote from within for this important and highly visible position.”

Chandler has been a Westerville police division supervisor since 2005 when he was first appointed corporal.

The next year, Chandler was promoted to sergeant, then named lieutenant in 2017.

Chandler has supervised operations in all Westerville police bureaus, including Investigations, patrol and community services. Prior to his law enforcement career, Chandler served in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Chandler holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration from Columbia Southern University.

He is a graduate of several law-enforcement executive programs, including the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and the Police Executive Leadership College.

He has received numerous honors in his career with Westerville, including Officer of the Year and the Medal of Honor.

Chandler was also appointed by former Ohio Gov. John Kasich in 2018 to serve on the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla