OBERLIN — Elyria police Sgt. Clarence R. Warfield will become police chief in Oberlin on Nov. 20 pending approval from Council to allow the city manager to authorize extra vacation time upon his start date.
City Manager Rob Hillard is allowed to offer new department directors a maximum of 15 days of vacation time upon starting. Warfield is asking for 25 days of vacation time upon his start date and to accrue vacation time at that rate thereafter.
“Because of this, I have requested City Council on (Monday) to review an amendment to allow for considerations like this as an overall policy matter,” Hillard said.
If passed, the new policy would allow the city manager to use discretion when offering vacation time instead of putting a cap on the number of days.
Meanwhile, three sergeants in the Oberlin Police Department opposed to Warfield as chief are hoping Hillard will meet with the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association to hear their concerns.
Hillard said Friday there are “conversations happening” but no meeting has been held with the police union.
The sergeants did not respond to calls for comment Friday.
In a letter to Council earlier this month, Sgts. Patrick Durica, Melissa Lett and Steve Chapman called Warfield the “least-qualified candidate” and said the hiring process favored Warfield because a few former colleagues of Warfield were on a committee Hillard consulted to vet applicants.
Warfield was chosen from a pool of 16 candidates including several police chiefs and two internal candidates, Oberlin police Sgt. Victor Ortiz and Lt. Michael McCloskey, who is serving as interim chief.
The sergeants argue that Warfield doesn’t have the education or experience necessary to be chief in Oberlin.
In an email, Hillard said he believes Warfield will be a benefit to the community. Warfield would start at a salary of $100,000 per year.
“I am very excited to work with Mr. Warfield as the new chief of police in Oberlin,” Hillard wrote. “I believe we will be successfull in meeting the objectives presented in the Community Listening Session Report prepared this year, and further cultivate successful relationships within the organization.”
Contact Jodi Weinberger at 329-7245 or firstname.lastname@example.org.