Sgt. Ed Kinney
MEDINA — The city has a new police chief.
Sgt. Ed Kinney was appointed chief Wednesday by Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell and immediately assumed command of the 34-person department.
Kinney, 43, has been with the department since June 1997, and a sergeant in the patrol division since 2011.
He said he met with Hanwell at 11 a.m. Wednesday and emerged from that meeting on Cloud 9.
“I was excited,” Kinney said. “It’s a big responsibility.”
The plan is for City Council to confirm Hanwell’s appointment at its Nov. 13 meeting.
“We’ll let them vote on it,” Hanwell said. “(If approved), we’ll give him the oath at the meeting. We’ll have a little ceremony with his family and members of the department. His wife (Sandy) will pin the chief’s badge on him.”
Kinney will continue to receive his sergeant’s pay until formally confirmed. Once that happens, Hanwell has requested Kinney’s new pay be retroactive to Oct. 25.
Kinney’s chief salary will start at $94,151 a year, said Laureen Wilson, secretary of the Medina Civil Service Commission. His predecessor, Patrick Beraducci, made $117,187 a year, according to city finance department records.
Hanwell made the appointment after the Civil Service Commission narrowed the field to three candidates — Sgt. Brett McNabb, Sgt. Scott Marcum and Kinney.
The mayor met with all three candidates Wednesday to personally inform them of his decision.
“Any one of them would have made an excellent chief,” Hanwell said. “Ed scored No. 1 from all of (the candidates in the testing). That carries some weight. He’s been with the department the longest (among the finalists).”
The mayor said he particularly was impressed with Kinney’s vision for building teamwork within the department, his thoughts on expanding the community policing program and his collaboration with other agencies.
Kinney, who was born in Detroit and grew up in Columbiana, said he’d make no immediate changes in the department.
“I’ll have a learning curve,” he said. “I have to get acclimated to the position.”
He said the department is in the process of hiring several police officers to bring the staff up to 39.
“We have a great staff,” Kinney said. “We’re in the midst of a hiring effort. We’ve made some conditional offers.”
Kinney, who also has worked with the department’s detective bureau as well as on the Medina County Drug Task Force, started his police career — 1995-97 — as a patrolman with the Lisbon Police Department.
He said becoming chief wasn’t a goal of his when he joined the Medina department. Once he was promoted to sergeant, he said he became interested in leadership practice and theory and started thinking about becoming a chief.
In a statement after Wednesday’s announcement, Kinney said: “It is an honor to be selected as the chief of police and I thank Mayor Hanwell for this opportunity and his confidence. I look forward to serving the citizens of Medina and leading the fine men and women of the Police Department. The Medina Police Department is committed to the community oriented policing philosophy and that tradition of service and professionalism will continue under my leadership.”
Until Wednesday, Lt. Dave Birckbichler had been the acting chief since former chief Berarducci went on medical leave last Thanksgiving and then retired. Birckbichler remains the highest-ranking officer on Kinney’s staff.
The process of hiring a new chief started in June, Hanwell said. It included a written exam, personality assessment with a psychologist and a panel interview that included Law Director Greg Huber, Ward 4 Councilman Jim Shields and Hanwell last Friday.
“It was an arduous process,” Kinney said.
Hanwell, the police chief in Medina from 1996-2009, said he hired all the men who were finalists for chief.
“I worked with all of them side-by-side,” he said. “I became chief in 1996. In 12 of my 13 years as chief, I worked with Ed.”
Of the finalists, Hanwell said: “I am pleased to report that each of the three was highly qualified, motivated and very capable of becoming the next chief of police for the city of Medina. We are fortunate and blessed to have such an outstanding group of candidates to choose from. We thank each candidate that took part in our testing process.”
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or email@example.com.