BY Jordan Cohen
Brian Darby, township police chief for the past two years, plans to resign his position but stay in the police department as a full-time patrol supervisor.
Darby, 41, said he informed township trustees about his plans but has not yet turned in a letter of resignation. He expects to step down as chief about Jan. 1.
“I’ve enjoyed my time as chief, but it’s time for me to step aside for personal reasons,” Darby said. He declined to elaborate.
Darby said that a criminal investigation last fall into the disappearance of $1,500 in community group funds from the police department safe is not a factor in his decision to leave the top post. Two patrolmen resigned as a result of the probe, and Darby came under criticism from some residents for storing the community Christmas and block watch funds in the safe — a policy he said he later changed.
No charges were filed against the two ex-officers following a criminal investigation by Trumbull County deputies who said the pair would not agree to be questioned. One of the ex-patrolmen returned $100 of the missing money. The remainder has not been recovered.
“That probe has nothing to do with my decision to step down,” Darby emphasized.
Darby, a member of the Vienna police force for 17 years, had been a full-time patrol supervisor for 10 of those years before his appointment as police chief. He is the only full-time member of the department, which has 15 part-time police officers.
Two of the trustees contacted by The Vindicator said they’ll support his return to his previous position.
“Brian’s heart is on the street, not in the office, and I think he does a good job,” said Richard Dascenzo, trustee chairman. “I want what’s best for him (because) he is the backbone of the department.” Trustee Heidi Brown said she, too, would support returning Darby to his full-time supervisor position.
The trustees have their next regular meeting Jan. 3.