Columbus police chief keeps focus with contract status up in air

Local News

COLUMBUS, OH (WCMH)- According to a representative with Mayor Andrew Ginther’s office, Police Chief Thomas Quinlan’s probationary period runs out on February 7 and the Mayor will make a decision on his status sometime before then.

“Until the last day, the last minute that I’m Chief, regardless of when that may be, I’m going to continue to uphold that oath that I took,” said Chief Thomas Quinlan, of the Columbus Division of Police.

This year, CPD has come under some intense scrutiny. Concerns have been brought up on the way officers responded to protesters over the summer and again after the recent shooting of Andre Hill.

“I am the Chief until I’m not. I made a commitment to both the mayor and to the community to lead reforms in the division and I’m doing exactly that,” said Chief Quinlan.

Chief Quinlan went on to say that the changes and reform he is trying to make will take time.

“As we’ve seen this last year, the community has been very vocal and transparent with us about what their expectations are, so as we adjust to the community’s expectation and desires. Those reforms I’m leading are going to be reflective of those, so it takes time to get those implemented,” said Chief Quinlan.

For now, the Columbus Police Department is working on public safety during the uncertain days before the inauguration.

“We’re staying alert and maintaining our readiness for anything that the week would bring and I have high hopes but the goal for us is to be overprepared and underwhelmed,” said Chief Quinlan.

Although Sunday’s protest remained peaceful, Chief Quinlan says they are still recommending that people avoid the downtown area if possible, especially on Wednesday.

“Wednesday there will certainly be a high level of visibility and presence around the Statehouse, around other infrastructure of the city and we’ll maintain that vigilance throughout the inauguration, the days beyond that if we have to,” said Chief Quinlan.

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