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Thursday, March 27th, 2008

No chief, few officers to keep law and order in Minster

By Margie Wuebker
MINSTER - The search for a new police chief has hit another snag with one of the leading candidates submitting his resignation to Mayor Dennis Kitzmiller.
Shane Dellinger, an officer with the Minster Police Department for the past 11/2 years, reportedly cited personal reasons in his resignation dated Friday. Dellinger, who was one of three finalists in the search for a new chief, requested the resignation take effect immediately.
Official action is expected when Minster councilors meet Tuesday.
Village officials sought assistance from the Ohio Chief of Police Association in filling the chief's position in the wake of Don Bergman's retirement. Bergman, who served more than 30 years with the department as a patrolman and later as chief, retired effective Dec. 31. However, he agreed to remain on duty before finally leaving Feb. 28. No one currently is serving as chief, with the mayor overseeing all police operations.
From the 18 job applications initially received for the post, the association pared the field to three finalists - Calvin Freeman, assistant Celina Police chief; Sean Asbury of Riverside; and Dellinger, who formerly served as a sergeant with the Coldwater Police Department.
Village Administrator Don Harrod reported earlier that Freeman turned down the village's offer when agreement could not be reached on compensation. At the March 18 council meeting, Harrod noted background checks were being done on another candidate and a recommendation would be forthcoming.
"We certainly lost something with Cal Freeman and now Shane Dellinger pulling out," Harrod told The Daily Standard. "We are going back through the candidates and taking another look. We hope to wrap this thing up next month and bring a new chief on board."
In addition to the three finalists, others recommended for the post were Scott Reinbolt of Blanchester, Michael Henry, who is retiring as Logan County sheriff, and Robert Fisher of Wapakoneta.
The village currently is advertising for a full-time patrolman to fill a vacancy left by the termination of Doug Latimer due to disability. Dellinger's resignation, which took effect immediately, brings the police force to just three full-time and one auxiliary officer.
Village councilors amended the existing pay ordinance March 18 to include auxiliary police officers on a part-time basis while efforts are being made to fill the vacancies. The hourly rate is $17 per hour. The emergency measure allows Minster to pay auxiliary officers like neighboring New Bremen.
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