Local leaders reacts to Chief Quinlan’s demotion


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – For the second time in two years the city of Columbus is now looking for a new police chief. This comes after Chief Thomas Quinlan stepped after one year on the job.

“This was inevitable in my mind,” said Dr. Tim Ahrens, Co-Facilitator of the Area Religious Coalition (ARC).

Quinlan will now serve as a Deputy Chief, according to the mayor’s office. The finalists of the last nationwide search for a chief were Chief Quinlan and former Seattle Assistant Chief Perry Tarrant. Ahrens says an outsider hire should have been made back then and hopes that’s what happens this time around.

“This is about Columbus growing up and facing its big city problems and getting someone who can help us overcome them. We’re expecting that someone who is gifted and talented from outside this city will come in and help us get this right,” he said.

Last month after Andre Hill was killed by a Columbus police officer, the ARC sent a letter to Mayor Andrew Ginther calling on the mayor to remove Quinlan as chief. Ahren’s says he is excited about the search for a new chief.

“I want to be real clear about this. It really is not an indictment of Tom Quinlan as much as for me, the choice for him to be chief was the wrong choice,” Ahrens said.

NBC4 also spoke to the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) about Chief Quinlan’s demotion.

“It’s another change for our officers, for our citizens in this community, that we’re going to have to adapt to. Change, we’re all going to have to get used to,” said Keith Ferrell, President of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 9.

Deputy Chief Michael Woods will serve as interim chief while the nationwide search takes place.

“I’ve certainly known him [Woods] for several years, I think he possesses outstanding leadership, the kind of leadership, and this isn’t to say Chief Quinlan didn’t by any means, but specifically to Chief woods, possesses the leadership to bring this community together, to bring our officers together and I look forward to that,” said Ferrell.

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