Chief Wiseman resigns from LPD

Chief David Wiseman

David Wiseman will be leaving home for the first time in 48 years.

The Chief of Police of the London Police Department announced this week he is resigning after 26 years with the department.

He has accepted a position with the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office to lead the Delaware Area Career Center’s police training academy — a joint venture between the sheriff’s office and career center.

Previously, Wiseman has served as an adjunct instructor at the academy, as well as at other academies.

“I’m excited, but nervous for the change,” said Wiseman, 48. “I’ve been doing the same thing for so many years in the community.”

The city’s next chief

Steve Hume, the city’s safety-service director and Wiseman’s supervisor, said a new chief will be found through a process over the next couple months.

First, the position will be opened to all internal candidates in the rank below chief, which is sergeant since a captain position was never filled. However, because only one of the department’s four sergeants are qualified per the job description, the position thereafter will be opened to the next rank: officer.

It is then expected for the position to be opened externally to allow for a competitive process, as required by Ohio law.

The city’s Civil Service Commission, a three-member panel appointed by the mayor, will oversee the process. Members of the commission are Vicky Victor, Greg Eades and Nick Adkins.

Assuming at least six candidates apply for the position, the commission will contract with the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police for an all-day competitive assessment, which includes various scenarios, written tests and a mock press conference.

The association will rank the applicants, based on the city’s needs. The city is required to hire the individual ranking at the top unless there is a reason not to hire number one, Hume said. Reasons may include a poor background check.

Hume will make the final appointment.

Wiseman is expected to continue in his current position until a replacement is found. Officials do not intend to name an interim chief.

Hometown boy

Wiseman, who was born and raised just a couple miles outside London city limits, began his tenure with the LPD in 1989 as an officer. He was promoted to sergeant in 1991 and to chief in 2009.

As a child, he attended St. Patrick School and graduated from Madison-Plains High School in 1985.

Wiseman began working in public safety as a high schooler when he started volunteering at the Central Townships Joint Fire District.

“I was attracted by the idea of giving back to the community,” he said.

Frank Conway, now employed by the state fire marshal’s office, was the fire prevention officer at the time, and later the assistant chief.

“Several officers at Central, including Frank, really embraced a lot of young people coming up into public safety — not just me,” Wiseman said.

He also volunteered as an EMT and firefighter after high school, and began taking tests in law enforcement, as well.

Wiseman’s first official law enforcement position came when he was commissioned by former sheriff Steve Saltsman to work at the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. He was an auxiliary officer, part-time deputy at the jail, and also patrolled Choctaw Lake.

At age 22, he was hired by the London Police Department.

“Yeah,” he said with a laugh, “I’m a true homer.”

Putting skills to use

Being a local guy has proved handy in many situations, Wiseman said.

“Because I’m from the hometown area, people will talk to me,” he said. “That’s the greatest thing: I could have went to any place else but it wouldn’t have meant the same as taking care of people in my community.”

Hume agrees. He called Wiseman’s hometown experience “immeasurable.”

“Having the chief be in a situation where he knows half, if not three-quarters, of the population of the city of London, he knows the streets and can tell you where all the alleys are — that’s priceless. He grew up here.”

Hume also complimented Wiseman’s knowledge of current topics, such as how use of force can be questioned by the public in a social media-savvy technology.

“Everyone has a camera on their smart phone,” Hume said. “We haven’t had any issues here, and I attribute that to Chief Wiseman.”

Wiseman has served for the past two years on the Ohio Police Officer Training Commission — a position from which he has also recently resigned.

He said his greatest professional achievement is graduating from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy in 2009. Other achievements include working on cases with other local law enforcement agencies — especially the sheriff’s office — and creating the Madison County Major Crimes Unit.

“We made a dent into our drugs and other criminal activities,” he said.

But even though he’s leaving home for work, he’s still not really leaving. There are no plans to move north.

“I’m staying put in London,” Wiseman said. “I’m still going to be here.”

Reach Andrea McKinney at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619, and on Twitter @AndeeWrites.