Campbell to swear in new police chief

Published: Wed, March 20, 2019 @ 12:07 a.m.

By Graig Graziosi


Mayor Nick Phillips will swear in the city’s new police chief Monday.

Patrick Kelly, a retired Youngstown police officer with 28 years of law-enforcement experience, will be the department’s new chief.

During his time with Youngstown Police Department, Kelly spent more than 12 years working in the homicide division and worked for five years as a commander in the department’s street-crime unit and the Northeast Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force.

He also spent 25 years working as a school security officer. He spent portions of his career working as a community officer, a street patrolman and in the YPD’s domestic-violence department.

Kelly will receive the same salary as the prior chief, $48,500 annually.

The incoming chief will fill the position left open by former chief Dennis Puskarcik, who resigned in January after allegations he had improperly accessed the department’s evidence lockers.

An internal investigation found no evidence to support the claims.

The officer who made the claims against Puskarcik was put on 10-day leave without pay after an internal investigation into her allegations that found her “insubordinate” and “negligent” in the way she chose to make complaints about her superior.

Phillips said initially the city planned to promote internally, which likely would have resulted in acting police Chief Kevin Sferra taking over permanently.

Phillips said the city law director and the police union could not reach an agreement on issues surrounding Sferra’s reclassification from a civil-service position to an unclassified position. “So we decided to hire externally,” Phillips said.

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