Four to interview for Reynoldsburg deputy police chief

KELLEY YOUMAN
editorial@thisweeknews.com
ThisWeek group

Four candidates are in the running to be second in command at the Reynoldsburg Division of Police.

The four applicants being considered as the city's next deputy chief of police are:

*John E. Dunbar, retired Findlay police chief

*Rhonda Grizzell, community-response bureau commander with the Columbus Division of Police

*Victor S. McDowell Jr., deputy chief of police with the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Police Department

*Michael T. Varner, retired deputy director with the Fort Smith (Arkansas) Police Department

A committee was scheduled to interview all candidates Tuesday, Sept. 1, said Sandra Boller, the city's human-resources director.

The deputy chief position became vacant in June, when former deputy Curtis Baker was promoted to chief.

Dunbar worked for the Findlay Police Department since 1992, spending his last three years as chief of police in the city of about 41,000, before retiring in July. Other law-enforcement experience includes a corporal for the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office in South Carolina and time working as a probation officer for the Hardin County Juvenile Court.

Dunbar holds a bachelor's degree from Ohio State University, a certificate of completion from the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and has completed National Tactical Officers Association basic SWAT and hostage rescue training.

Grizzell has worked for the city of Columbus since 1994, when she started as a patrol officer. Since May she has served as commander of the community response bureau, supervising community policing initiatives, including school resource and community liaison officers.

Grizzell holds a bachelor's degree from Wittenberg University, a certificate of completion from the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and attended the FBI National Academy in 2016.

McDowell has been with the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority since 2019, where he is responsible for oversight of the SWAT team, detective bureau and K-9 unit. Other law-enforcement experience includes various positions with Cleveland Metroparks Police Department and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District Division of Safety and Security.

McDowell holds a bachelor's degree from Indiana Wesleyan University, a master's degree from Cleveland State University and attended the FBI National Academy in 2018.

Varner retired as deputy director of the Fort Smith Police Department in 2019. Past law-enforcement experience includes various positions with the Springfield Division of Police and a military police officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Varner holds a bachelor's degree from Tiffin University, a master's degree from the University of Cincinnati and attended the FBI National Academy in 2016.

Requirements for the position include 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's Command Officer Development Course, Northwestern University/Traffic Institute's School of Police Staff and Command, Public Safety Leadership Academy or Certified Law Enforcement Executive.

The salary range for the deputy chief position is $115,000-$123,000, not including benefits.

Consultants from the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police assisted with the search.

Members of the interview committee included Boller, Mayor Joe Begeny, city attorney Chris Shook, Kristin Bryant, chair of City Council's public-safety, law and courts committee and representatives from the Fraternal Order of Police and the OACP.

Reynoldsburg has 67 full-time officers, seven reserve officers, nine dispatchers and 11 other civilian positions with a 2020 budget of more than $13 million.

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