Boardman Township receives 12 applications for police chief job
By Jordyn Grzelewski
The application period for the township police chief job has closed, and township officials are tasked with finding a replacement for Police Chief Jack Nichols from the pool of 12 people who applied.
The township received applications from five township police officers and seven external candidates. Among the candidates are several police chiefs from other departments, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, a special agent with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, a Youngstown Police Captain and former chief, a major in the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, and several sergeants in the township police department. All have extensive law-enforcement backgrounds.
The applicants from Boardman are John Paul Allsopp, Rick Balog, Charles Hillman Jr., Michael R. Hughes and Glen Riddle. The external candidates are William Cappabianca, James Ciotti, Rod J. Foley, Brian Goodin, David E. Hayes, Charles VanDyke, and Todd Werth.
Above all, officials are looking for someone who not only understands how to run a police department, but will take Nichols’ approach to interacting with the public, Township Trustee Brad Calhoun said.
“One of the great attributes of Chief Nichols is his availability to sit and talk with residents,” Calhoun said. “He gave his cellphone [number] out to everybody. He was very responsive to citizens, such as the community block watches. There was such a comfort level with Chief Nichols and the residents. That’s right up there with the policing aspect.”
Nichols noted several qualities he believes are important for his successor to possess.
“Something I could have done better at is organization. I have a weakness in technology skills. ... Obviously in today’s day and age, someone with proficiency in that is required,” he said. “I think it’s important to have someone who can multi-task and do lots of things at once. Probably somebody that gets along well with others.”
Also, he said, “Being able to take orders and follow instructions is important. Probably more of a low-key, downplay-the-ego type of thing is important with this board.”
Nichols and Township Administrator Jason Loree noted that the new chief will oversee the 911 consolidation to the township dispatch center.
“We’re looking for someone who understands next generation 911 and newer radio technology,” Loree said. “That’s important, because we have a major project we’re working on with Mahoning County.”
“I think that’s going to be Job One out of the gate for the new chief,” Nichols said, referring to the council of governments formed between Boardman, Austintown and the county for the dispatching initiative. “It’s going to grow. It’s going to take a lot more active role in the 911 and dispatching throughout the county.”
Township trustees plan to conduct one-hour interviews with each of the candidates over a several-day span next month, with hopes to select a candidate this summer after second-round interviews are conducted.
Whoever they select will then work for several months alongside Nichols, whose effective retirement date is in January, .
“Then I’ll quietly ease out of the door, and it’ll be done,” Nichols said.