Mayor Announces Pick for Columbus Police Chief
The next Columbus Chief of Police has been announced.
Thomas Quinlan, who has served as acting interim chief of police for the division after former Chief Kim Jacobs retired in February of this year, will be the next Columbus Division of Police chief.
In early November, the city announced two finalists for the position: Quinlan and former Seattle Police Department Assistant Chief of Police Perry Tarrant.
Quinlan and Tarrant were picked from five candidates from a national search. The two finalists appeared at a public forum on Nov. 21.
Chief Quinlan began his career with the division in 1989. Over the course of his career, he rose within the ranks and was promoted to commander in 2009, and deputy chief in 2013.
Recently, Chief Quinlan served as a liaison to the Mayor’s Community Safety Advisory Commission. He saw the department adopt new policies and has reformed what was once the department’s Vice unit with Police and Community Together (PACT).
As police chief, Quinlan will be charged with executing the recommendations laid out by a report by Matrix Consulting Group, the result of a year-long study released in August. Recommendations from the consulting group, as well as the Community Safety Advisory Commission, will reform police policies, hiring, training, and community perception.
During a press conference, Mayor Ginther spoke of the progress Quinlan has made as interim chief.
“Serving as interim chief, Tom has made solid strides in the right direction,” Ginther said. “Under his leadership are police recruit classes, including the one that started yesterday, are the most diverse that we have had in decades.”
Ginther also said recommendations from the advisory committee were expected soon.
“[The recommendations] lay out my expectations for Chief Quinlan in the coming year,” Ginther continued. “It will serve as a roadmap for him to continue to build stronger relationships with the community, to hold officers accountable for their actions…and to fight racism both inside and outside the division.”
“I expect a great deal from Chief Quinlan,” said Ginther.
Quinlan also spoke of his new position during the press conference.
“We’ve only just begun to build a more diverse police agency which must reflect the community we serve,” said Chief Quinlan. “We’ve only just begun to make the interactions between police officers and the community members more positive and productive.
“Whether you’re a member of the community or one of my division employees, I want to ensure you are treated fairly and with respect. I will not tolerate racism or discrimination. Our work is too important, and the lives we impact too precious.
“I’m committed to this process that we have begun and dedicated to seeing it through.”
“There will be many that fight change. That will stand in the way of reform. That will defend the status quo,” said Mayor Ginther. “We can confront racism and discrimination where it exists. And we can continue to build safe neighborhoods with strong community-police relations.”
For more information, visit www.columbus.gov/police.