Youngstown police chief is reappointed

Published: Sat, March 3, 2018 @ 12:05 a.m.

By David Skolnick


It took a little longer than expected, but Mayor Jamael Tito Brown reappointed Robin Lees as police chief.

Lees, who receives $91,027 in annual salary, has served as police chief since 2014 when then-Mayor John A. McNally appointed him.

“The depth of his knowledge and experience is beneficial to the Youngstown Police Department, city hall and Youngstown as a whole,” Brown said in announcing he was retaining Lees as police chief.

Appointing a police chief was expected a few weeks ago, but Brown waited until Friday to make the decision official.

Lees was among 12 candidates who applied for the position.

“I appreciate the confidence the mayor has in me to have me continue in the position,” Lees said. “It’s an endorsement of the direction we’ve been heading. We’ll continue to explore other opportunities to increase police-community relations and further our mission.”

Lees served with the police department from 1978 until his retirement in 2011.

He was in charge of the vice squad and the department’s Planning and Training Bureau and also the multiagency Mahoning Valley Crisis Response Team and Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force, which conducts long-term criminal investigations, mostly centering on drug activities throughout Mahoning County.

He returned to the department Jan. 1, 2014, when he was appointed by McNally to lead the department. Lees didn’t originally apply for the position, but did so in mid-December 2013, during McNally’s transition period between his election and the start of his term, at the request of the then-mayor elect.

Before joining the city police department, Lees served in the Army military police from 1972 to 1975, attaining the rank of sergeant.

Between Jan. 2 and Feb. 9, Brown appointed a law director, buildings and grounds commissioner, parks and recreations director, fire chief, deputy director of public works and water commissioner.

He’s in the process of searching for a code-enforcement and blight-remediation superintendent, downtown events and citywide special projects coordinator and numerous attorneys in the law department including prosecutor.

Brown said he’s received 15 applications for code-enforcement and blight-remediation superintendent, 39 for downtown events and citywide special projects coordinator and 20 for the law department.

Brown is conducting a national search for a finance director.

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