Shortly after the incorporation of the Village, the Village officials saw the need for police protection. In addressing those needs our Village fathers passed Resolution Number 5-51. This resolution was set forth to request and secure police, safety and traffic protection by Hamilton County Sheriff Dan Tehan. In the interim, a Police Department was comprised. Contemporaneously to that, efforts were made to form Evendale’s own Police Department. Mayor McGrew appointed an advisory committee of five members to study, report and to recommend to Council plans and legislations regarding police protection for the Village.
Harry Lichtenberg was listed in the 1952 Town Meeting Book as Evendale’s first Police Chief. Actually Mr. Lichtenberg was hired as a consultant to study and secure personnel to form the Evendale Police Department. Ordinance No 6-52 was passed “Creating a Police Force, Providing Compensation Therefore, and Declaring an Emergency”. This ordinance created a police force consisting of a Chief and two patrolmen. The Chief was to be paid at the rate of $42.50 per month and the patrolmen were to be paid at the rate of $80 per week. Mayor McGrew was to appoint the personnel of the police force with the consent of Council. Shortly after hiring Bill Barnett, who was subsequently named chief, Mr. Lichtenberg resigned his position, having completed his task.
The police department was first housed in a small, wood framed structure owned by, and rented from, the Tennessee Corporation. It was located off By Pass 50 (Glendale-Milford Road), the present location of C. S. I.
The position of relief patrolman was also created in the police force and became effective February 1, 1952. The relief patrolman was to be compensated at the rate of $100 per month and appointment made by the Mayor with the approval of Council. Mayor and Council also purchased their first police cruiser from Reading Garage for the sum of $1,995.
Mayor McGrew and Council realized the importance and need to become a member of the Hamilton County Police Association, paying a membership fee of $10 per year. This association assisted in obtaining cooperation among neighboring police departments and added to the police protection of the Village.
In November 1952, Village officials created a Police Relief and Pension Fund for the officers. This fund was to be financed by deducting 4% from the salaries paid to the members of the police department and also by a specified amount to be paid by the municipality. Mr. Richard Reid and Mr. George Schappacher were designated as the members of Council to be trustees of the Police Relief and Pension Fund.
From 1952 through 1954, ordinances were passed providing for positions in the police force and fixing compensation. The positions of sergeants, lieutenants and Special Traffic Police were created. With the passage of Ordinance No. 8-53, the Mayor, upon the recommendation of the Police Chief, was authorized to employ part-time and special policemen whose principal duty was to be the operation of the traffic light at the intersection of Reading Road and Glendale-Milford Road, but also to perform other duties as assigned to them by the Chief of Police. Ordinance No. 19-52 was passed to establish the Evendale Traffic Code.
In 1954 officers and patrolmen of the Police Department were granted two weeks annual vacation with pay, and reimbursement for dry cleaning of uniforms not to exceed $10 per person per month. Also, in order to cooperate with the Mutual Aid Program, a resolution was passed to set up auxiliary police force in the event of a disaster and other emergencies.
1956 was the first year in which Village officials began to furnish hospitalization insurance for full-time members of the police department. Early on, Mayor and Council recognized that the quality of personnel would ultimately determine the success of the police department. The prevailing belief was that seasoned, well-trained officers would be recruited and compensated accordingly in hopes of retaining long-term, loyal employees. The philosophy continued and still enjoys success. Historically, Evendale Police has remained among the top paid agencies in the county. Turnover remains among the lowest, while individual training and qualifications are second to none.
Throughout the years the department expanded with the needs of the community. The Police Department became a member of the District 13 Crime Control Council. This organization provided a forum for discussion and study of problems in controlling crime in the Village and surrounding communities and counties.
With the untimely death of Chief Bill Barnett in 1964, Mayor and Council approved the appointment of John Ahern as Police Chief. Chief Ahern served as Chief for seventeen years.
One of the priorities of the department has always been to have well-educated police officers. The well-educated officer is then better prepared to educate the residents and businesses of the community. In 1973, the police department was instructed to attend classes to learn the administration of the new Ohio Criminal Code that was to take effect January 1, 1974.
In October 1976, the police department purchased its first unmarked police car from Jake Sweeney Chevrolet. The purpose for this purchase was to assist and adequately equip the department.
In 1977, as drugs became a major concern and a focus of the citizens of the community, the department became involved with RENU, the Regional Enforcement Narcotics Unit. Mayor and Council agreed that this program had been very successful in reducing the sale and use of illegal narcotics and therefore felt that it was in the best interest of the community to support the program.
Karen James-Hall became the Police Department’s first full-time Clerk in 1979. She was hired to assist the officers in record keeping for the department. Ms. James was also appointed as Clerk of Mayor’s Court. She would be in charge of all court records and funds, attending all sessions of court and providing a monthly report to the Mayor regarding fines and costs deposited in a special Mayor’s court account.
In 1981 Chief John Ahern passed away unexpectedly; whereupon, Captain Jack Gower was promoted to Chief. It was at that time that the department was re-organized. Several promotions were provided and the position of Corporal was established.
Chief Gower submitted his resignation effective February 1986. With the retirement of Chief Gower, the Village needed an acting Chief of Police pending the appointment of a Chief. Stephen Bowyer, a Lieutenant at the time, was appointed to this position. Chief Bowyer would serve until the appointment of a new Chief could be made.
Mayor and Council interviewed numerous candidates for the position of Chief of Police. In July 1986, upon the recommendation of the Committee of Council participating in the interviews, Danny O’Malley was the recommended candidate to be appointed Chief of Police, effective August 1986. Chief Stephen Bowyer retired in August after twenty-five years of service.
Although training had always been a priority, the 1980’s saw an increased emphasis in this area. An innovative training program was implemented; wherein officers received ten hours each week of in-service training. Off-site, specialized training was provided in the areas of auto accident reconstruction, leadership and management, firearms and other specialized training. During that period, Gary Foust became the first officer to complete the F.B.I. National Academy at Quantico, Virginia. Many of the officers received training and became state-certified instructors, teaching in regional academies and on an in-service level. Training schedules and programs continued to be examined and adjusted to meet agency needs.
1987 was a very busy year for the Police Department. The Village adopted a Personnel Code in 1987 and authorized individual departments to have supplemental personnel rules and regulations for the department. The Police Department prepared “Rules and Regulations of the Evendale Police Department” which the Mayor and Council accepted and adopted. Also, Nan Bongiani was hired as the first female officer for the Evendale Police Department. During that same year, the Police Department began the process of becoming accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. Accreditation was achieved through long hours of dedicated work by the Police Department. At the time, Evendale was one of only nine accredited agencies in the entire state.
In 1989 Mayor and members of Council agreed that the development of certain specialized skills, knowledge and abilities were essential to add to and maintain an efficient police organization. The position of “Specialist” was established within the rank classification of police officer. The “Specialist” designation was to recognize and compensate patrol officers who assume and maintain certain skills, knowledge and abilities to perform additional duties crucial to the agency, but which are not necessarily supervisory in nature. Today the “Specialist” positions established are: Crime Prevention/Community Relations Specialist, Firearms/Training Specialist, Juvenile/DARE Specialist, Accreditation Manager Specialist, Criminal Investigations Specialist, and Patrol Specialist. These special positions are annual assignments and are re-examined annually. The positions have been, and are subject to change and are re-assigned based upon current departmental and community needs.
The Evendale Police Department has fulfilled and exceeded the expectations of our beginning forefathers. The department has been involved in many facets of policing. Activities range from controlling strikes at GE to assisting St. Rita’s School for the Deaf with their annual July festival. The department has also been involved in having its own canine unit and making appointments of Dog Warden.
The Police Department has always been interactive with the children of the Village with hopes in assisting in their education. We have attended special activities and interact with the children in their classrooms. Our safety and DARE programs are very popular with the children, teachers and parents. We realize that we have a school in the community with special needs, St. Rita’s School for the Deaf. To better communicate with the children of St. Rita’s School, our officers have taken sign language classes. We have found that education is a very vital tool in protecting our community.
Upon the retirement of Chief Danny O’Malley in 1995, Gary Foust returned as Chief. Subsequent to a needs assessment, the department was re-organized to its present staffing complement of a Chief, three lieutenants, three sergeants and twelve specialist and patrol positions. This was only one of several organizational changes made to more effectively serve community needs.
In 2009, with the retirement of Chief Foust, Niel Korte was appointed as Chief.