Robert Bush Jr. is the city's first minority police chief.
By ROGER G. SMITH
CITY HALL REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Law Director Robert Bush Jr. is the city's new police chief, Mayor George M. McKelvey said late this morning.
Bush is the city's first minority police chief.
"As chief, Mr. Bush has assured me that he will continue the zero tolerance and proactive policing strategies adopted by his predecessor, Chief Richard Lewis," McKelvey said in a written release.
McKelvey's office said that all his comments were contained in the statement and that he was not available to comment further.
McKelvey did not say who will become the new law director.
Bush's appointment is effective Saturday. Police Chief Richard Lewis retires today after 38 years in the department.
McKelvey cited Bush's experience as a city police officer, prosecutor and law director.
"My confidence in Chief Robert Bush is further strengthened by the close working relationship we've established during my first four years as mayor," Mc-Kelvey said.
Bush will make $68,500 as chief this year.
He was not immediately available to comment.
McKelvey said when Lewis announced his retirement, there was a very real possibility that the city could have its first woman or minority chief. Bush's name cropped up in downtown circles as soon as Lewis' decision to leave became official.
Lewis has been chief since January 1998, when McKelvey took office. Lewis joined the department in July 1963 and earned promotion to sergeant in 1971, then lieutenant in 1977.
Before becoming chief, he spent 18 years as head of the department's Internal Affairs Division.