Act­ing Colum­bus po­lice chief plans to bring change

Quin­lan as­sumed lead­er­ship in Colum­bus Fri­day.

Dayton Daily News - - DAILY LAW JOURNAL - By Bethany Bruner

— Deputy Chief COLUM­BUS

Thomas Quin­lan gave re­tir­ing Colum­bus Po­lice Chief Kim Ja­cobs an au­to­graphed Ohio State foot­ball on Wed­nes­day. The hand-off was a pre­cur­sor for the chang­ing of the guard at the Di­vi­sion of Po­lice.

On Fri­day, Ja­cobs put the lead­er­ship of the di­vi­sion in the hands of Quin­lan, who takes over as in­terim chief while Mayor An­drew J. Ginther con­ducts a na­tion­wide search for her re­place­ment.

Quin­lan, a 28-year vet­eran of the di­vi­sion, he is ea­ger to put his stamp on the depart­ment, even if only tem­po­rar­ily.

“I have real pas­sion about see­ing the di­vi­sion suc­ceed,” he said.

Quin­lan took over the act­ing chief po­si­tion af­ter be­ing the deputy chief for the north­ern pa­trol di­vi­sion. He has also worked in the free­way bureau, the sex­ual abuse squad, as a fraud and forgery sergeant and has worked in the com­mu­ni­ca­tions and pro­fes­sional stan­dards bureau. He was also the train­ing bureau com­man­der.

Be­fore join­ing Colum­bus Po­lice in De­cem­ber 1989, Quin­lan worked for Madi­son Town­ship Po­lice and is a United States Air Force vet­eran.

Quin­lan said he wants to make sure the di­vi­sion fo­cuses on hav­ing the best tech­nol­ogy to pre­vent crime and that of­fi­cers feel sup­ported. He said tak­ing over the di­vi­sion’s lead­er­ship was like a weight be­ing lifted off Ja­cobs’ shoul­ders and placed on his.

“There’s 2,300 peo­ple you have to be re­spon­si­ble for now,” he said. “It’s a lot to take in in one cer­e­mony. It’ll sink in the next few days.

“Although things were go­ing well un­der Chief Ja­cobs, if the com­mu­nity needs change, we have to ad­just.”

Quin­lan has been “in­stru­men­tal” in work­ing with the safety ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee, Ginther’s of­fice said.

“Mayor Ginther ... be­lieves (Quin­lan) will take this op­por­tu­nity to make real ad­vances in the way we po­lice, in­clud­ing a fo­cus on im­ple­ment­ing strate­gies to in­crease di­ver­sity within the Di­vi­sion,” Ginther’s of­fice said in a state­ment.

Quin­lan said he wants to make strides in hav­ing the po­lice of­fi­cers in the di­vi­sion re­flect the com­mu­nity they serve and be more trans­par­ent with those in the com­mu­nity.

“It’s im­por­tant to lis­ten to the com­mu­nity and be avail­able to lis­ten to con­cerns,” he said.

Quin­lan said he in­tends to be “very ag­gres­sive” in de­ter­min­ing how to dis­ci­pline of­fi­cers who step out of line and to be more trans­par­ent with the com­mu­nity in how po­lice mat­ters are han­dled.

One of his first or­ders of busi­ness will be cre­at­ing a des­ig­na­tion to have some­one as the per­son in charge 24 hours a day, in­stead of the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion where in emer­gen­cies, there is a po­ten­tial scram­ble to iden­tify the high­est-rank­ing of­fi­cer on duty.

He said he also wants to be fully briefed on the sta­tus of the FBI Pub­lic Cor­rup­tion Task Force’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the vice unit, which has been un­der scru­tiny fol­low­ing the high-pro­file July ar­rest of Stephanie Clifford, bet­ter known as adult film ac­tress Stormy Daniels, and a sub­se­quent law­suit filed by Clifford against the vice unit of­fi­cers in­volved.

The vice unit con­tin­ues to be lim­ited in their en­force­ment ef­forts as the FBI in­ves­ti­gates the unit. Three of­fi­cers within the unit have been re­lieved of duty since Septem­ber.

Quin­lan said he hopes the in­ves­ti­ga­tion doesn’t make of­fi­cers within his di­vi­sion feel ashamed.

“I want of­fi­cers to hold their chin up high and wear their badge proudly,” he said.

DIS­PATCH ERIC AL­BRECHT / THE COLUM­BUS

In­terim Colum­bus Po­lice Chief Thomas Quilan has his daugh­ters, Cassie, 15, and Macken­zie, 22, right, add stars to his uni­form while wife, Jen­nifer, watches af­ter his swear­ing in cer­e­mony Fri­day.

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