Curtis Baker tapped as Reynoldsburg's next police chief

KELLEY YOUMAN
editorial@thisweeknews.com
Curtis Baker has been named the next chief of the Reynoldsburg Division of Police. He will be sworn in at 6 p.m. June 30 at City Hall, 7232 E. Main St.

Reynoldsburg will make interim police Chief Curtis Baker’s title permanent, selecting him as the next official chief of the Reynoldsburg Division of Police.

The city on June 22 announced Baker, who has served as interim chief since April, will be sworn in June 30. 

Baker will earn $134,000 annually, with benefits including health, dental and life insurance, plus a 19% contribution to his Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund account ($25,460)  for a total benefit package of $54,525 annually. 

He was among five candidates to replace former chief David Plesich, who resigned earlier this year to return to his previous department in Charleston, South Carolina.

Baker joined Reynoldsburg’s department in 2018, serving as deputy chief.

A licensed attorney, his law-enforcement service dates to 1999, when he started with the Hilliard Division of Police. He also spent about 18 months as a sergeant with the New Albany Police Department.

In addition to a law degree from Capital University, Baker has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Eastern Michigan University.

The other candidates included:

• Lt. William Early, an officer with the Reynoldsburg department since 1995

• Kim Nuesse, former chief of the Minerva Park Police Department

• Craig Riley, a detectives-bureau deputy chief with the Newark Division of Police

• Michael Springer, former police commander with the Columbus Division of Police

The selection committee included Mayor Joe Begeny; city attorney Chris Shook; Kristin Bryant, chair of City Council’s public-safety, law and courts committee; a member of the Fraternal Order of Police and representatives from the Ohio Association of Police Chiefs and the city’s human-resources department.

Residents were invited to submit comments or questions for the candidates.

Requirements for the position included achieving a rank of command and a minimum of one year of police-command experience; a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, police science or a related field; and completion of advanced training at one of the following: FBI National Academy, the Southern Police Institute Command Officer Development Course, Northwestern University/Traffic Institute School of Police Staff and Command, Public Safety Leadership Academy or the Certified Law Enforcement Executive program.

As deputy chief, Baker was responsible for all internal-affairs investigations, training and community outreach. Since taking over this spring as interim chief, Baker helped implement the department’s COVID-19 response plan and has worked to improve communication and minority recruiting, Begeny said.

“He is dedicated to hiring a police force that is more reflective of the city of Reynoldsburg’s residents,” he said.

Baker will be sworn in at 6 p.m. June 30 at City Hall, 7232 E. Main St.

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