Thomas Quinlan named Columbus police chief

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Thomas Quinlan was introduced Tuesday as the next chief of the Columbus Division of Police.

Quinlan, the current interim Chief of Police for Columbus, started his career in law enforcement as an officer in Madison Township.

More: Thomas Quinlan: 4 things to know about the new Columbus police chief

“I expect a great deal from Chief Quinlan,” Ginther said. “Not perfection, but continued progress and I am confident in his ability to deliver.”

He joined the Columbus Division of Police in 1989 and has served in a variety of roles. In 2013, he was named Deputy Chief of the Patrol North Sub Division. He was named interim chief after Kim Jacobs’ retirement.

RELATED: Columbus community leaders split on new police chief

He graduated from The Ohio State University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts & Sciences in Criminal Justice. In 2001, he earned a Master in Science in Human Resource Administration from Central Michigan University. Quinlan is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy Class 249 and the Police Executive Leadership Institute provided by the Major Cities Chief’s Association.

“When we embarked on this search nearly a year ago, I said I wanted a change agent who displayed honesty and integrity and could make policing more community-minded to meet the needs of the residents,” Ginther said. “Serving as interim chief, Tom has made solid strides in the right direction by reorganizing the Division, disbanding the Vice Unit, and making strong connections between police and the community. I want to continue that momentum.”

More: Meet the two finalists for the Columbus Police Chief job

Quinlan said he will continue to work toward making the department a community-focused and service-driven police agency. 

“We’ve only just begun on a path of progress designed to make Columbus safer, to ensure members of the community feel they have a voice in the service we provide, and to know they can worry more about what good they can do for their neighbor, rather than what harm their neighbor might do to them,” Quinlan said.

The other finalist, Perry Tarrant, sent this statement to NBC4’s Darlene Hill:

Congratulations to Chief Quinlan and the Columbus Division of Police. Thank you to Mayor Ginther and his Dep. Chief of Staff Dawn Tyler Lee for giving the community a voice in the selection process.  I had the opportunity to build relationships with many people in Columbus and the Police Division.  I wish [CPD] speed in growing towards the community’s needs and those of a vibrant city.

Perry Tarrant

Ginther pointed to the results of the Matrix Consulting firm and the Columbus Safety Advisory Commission expected next month as a roadmap for Quinlan.

Addressing racism, increasing diversity among the ranks, holding officers accountable, and building community-police relations will be the markers for success for the Chief.

“I was very clear with him during the interview process that I will be right there standing with him, supporting him if he continues to challenge the status quo, improve police-community relations, continue to embed diversity, and inclusion into the culture of the division,” Ginther said.

“I’m not going to make everybody happy in the division and in the community,” Quinlan said. “My job is to be as open and transparent and responsive to their needs as possible.”

Quinlan will officially be sworn in at a later date and serve a one-year probationary term. At that time, he can be reappointed for up to two five-year terms or a total of 10 years.

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