Saturday, April 22, 2000

Clearcreek Township names police chief

BY David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        CLEARCREEK TWP. — Peter Herdt never planned on becoming this community's police chief when he came here as a consultant seven months ago. It just worked out that way.

        “I kind of got attached to the place and (township officials) asked if I wanted to put in for the permanent position,” Chief Herdt said. “It was a long, long arduous process. I'm obviously happy with the results.”

        Chief Herdt, 55, was named to the post on a permanent basis Thursday. He will make $56,000 a year.

        He was one of two finalists.

        In addition to developing more community-oriented policing programs, the new chief expects to create a citizens police academy and neighborhood watch, and prepare the department to be reaccredited. He will also have a hand in hiring a lieutenant, which will bring the department's staffing to 11.

        The department has been rocked by significant turnover in the last 18 months and is loaded with new members.

        “The officers now know who the long-term leadership is going to come from,” said Township Administrator Dennis Pickett.

        Chief Herdt's hiring marks a turning point for the agency, whose future was in doubt last fall. After turning down three earlier levies, residents breathed new life into the department by approving a 1.5-mill additional police levy in November.

        Before the levy was approved, trustees considered reducing the department to part-time or eliminating it all together and contracting for police protection.

        A New Jersey native, Chief Herdt was a member of the Oakland, Calif., police department for 10 years, and spent another decade as chief of the Ohio State University police department.


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