Ginther Announces New Public Safety Director
Last week, Mayor Andrew Ginther announced the appointment of Robert Clark as the City of Columbus’ new Director of Public Safety.
Clark is a former U.S. Department of Justice official, as a special agent in charge of the Los Angeles field office. He also has experience in local and international law enforcement. He most recently served as the national police superintendent for Trinidad and Tobago.
Clark is also a doctoral candidate in organizational leadership and social justice at Adler University in Chicago.
Clark was previously named one of nine candidates to be interviewed for the role of Columbus police chief earlier this year but did not move on as a finalist. Ginther said it was decided his expertise was “better suited” for the role of safety director.
Clark begins on Sept. 26.
In announcing Clark’s appointment, Mayor Ginther spoke of Clark’s commitment to police reform and his awareness of the need to support police officers “in the midst of increasing neighborhood violence.”
Former Public Safety Director Ned Pettus, Jr. officially retired last week as well, after first announcing the decision in July.
Pettus was appointed to the role in 2016, during a period that saw the department regularly come under fire amid police violence, increases in crime and calls for reforming the Columbus Division of Police.
During his tenure there was also the institution of body-worn cameras for Columbus Police officers, as well as the establishment of a Civilian Police Review Board and naming of the city’s first female Black police chief in Elaine Bryant just this year.