New North Olmsted Police Chief Jamie Gallagher is ready to take the department further into the 21st century in more ways than one.
Gallagher, a nearly 28-year veteran of the department, will take over as chief when Wozniak retires at the end of this week. Most recently, Gallagher has been the department captain. Prior to that, he was the administrative captain when the department had separate administrative and operations captains. He was also detective bureau commander and has served in several patrol shift positions.
After the Civil Service Commission announced Wednesday that he had the best test score in the selection process for the new chief, Gallagher said he will be busy.
“I’ll be meeting with the mayor this week to discuss what directions we want the department to go in,” he said. “We’ll go over what will be the best ways we can have the department do its job.”
Gallagher said he has ideas for bettering the department.
“One thing I would like to do is have us utilize as much 21st-century and new technology as possible,” he said. “It can make us a smarter and better police force by using as much modern technology as possible.”
Gallagher said the men and women of the police force can handle the technology.
“It’s a good force,” he said. “I’m fortunate to work with them.”
Gallagher, a Westlake native who has lived in North Olmsted for nearly two decades, said he’s pleased to be serving a city he has called home for many years.
“I moved here because I wanted to be a part of the community and to help make a difference for the people who live and work here,” he said.
Gallagher said he was glad to have the selection process over with.
“We had several good candidates, all of whom could do the job,” he said.
The process had been delayed when Kennedy’s administration suspended Civil Service Chairman Michael better and intended to remove him for allegedly exceeding his authority and trying to set a test date before the city had Wozniak’s formal retirement date. Ubaldi contended the city had a time frame for the retirement and that setting a test date would benefit the replacement process. He was reinstated when City Council did not approve Kennedy’s action by a two-thirds majority of 5-2 or better.
Gallagher said by making chief, he has achieved a personal goal.
“Once you start hitting administrative positions like sergeant and on up, you start to look at things like that,” he said.
Gallagher said he appreciates the training he has received through the years.
“I’ve had excellent role models to work with in Chief Wozniak, before that Chief Ruple and the other supervisors I’ve had through the years,” he said.