Gahanna has a new safety director.

Keith Winn, a veteran of the Columbus Division of Police, started the job on March 23.

Winn will work 12 to 16 hours a week in the part-time position.

His annual salary is $41,600, with $6,843 in benefits, for a total package of $48,443.

"As the city of Gahanna public-safety director, I am committed to achieving the highest standard of professionalism, integrity and community support throughout this city," Winn said. "I look forward to working alongside the city leaders and the men and women of the public-safety department as we strive to improve the service we provide the community."

Winn, 58, of Lewis Center served with the Columbus Division of Police for more than 34 years, including 22 years as a sergeant.

He has master's degrees in business administration and management.

"The members of the division of police and our residents are blessed to have director Keith Winn, with his background and experience, join the city of Gahanna's team at such a critical time," said Jeff Spence, Gahanna police chief.

"His exceptional knowledge and skill as a law-enforcement professional will foster positive relationships within our agency and with the community we serve," he said.

He said the division is looking forward to working with Winn to advance safety initiatives in Gahanna hand in hand with the team of leaders that Mayor Laurie Jadwin has assembled.

"We had several candidates who each had exceptional backgrounds in the field of public safety," Jadwin said.

"I was most impressed with Mr. Winn's demonstrated leadership and his broad range of experience."

Jadwin said Winn's previous work in building diversity in his workforce and his ability to create strong relationships between civic leaders and law enforcement are rare skills that would benefit any community.

"His acumen and leadership experience will be a valuable and collaborative resource for all of our public-safety departments while also providing a comfortable level of oversight and direction for them," Jadwin said.

Carrin Wester, Gahanna's communications manager, said the city started interviewing for the safety-director position in February.

Because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, she said, the interview process took a longer than expected, but the city is excited to have Winn aboard.

During his tenure at Columbus police, Winn was selected to oversee and develop a course curriculum in public-safety administration at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, where he also has been an instructor in the curriculum.

The director of public safety is responsible for ensuring that all police, fire, health and safety regulations prescribed by the city and the state are enforced, Wester said.