WADSWORTH — Former Sgt. Randall Reinke was sworn in as the city’s sixth police chief on Wednesday afternoon.
Reinke, 49, began his law enforcement career as a patrol officer with the Police Department in 1992, and worked in various positions.
“I have a balanced background,” Reinke said. “I’ve worked in almost all areas of the department.”
About 50 people, including many from the Police Department, showed up for his swearing in at City Hall by Mayor Robin Laubaugh.
“I don’t think I’d be here today if it weren’t for the encouragement of the Police Department,” he told the audience.
Reinke, who was named “Officer of the Year” in 1994 and 1996, was promoted to sergeant in 2000. He worked in the detective bureau and was a SWAT team member.
“He has a wealth of law enforcement experience, from serving as a patrol officer, SWAT member and sergeant, to supervisory duties within the detective bureau,” Safety Director Matt Hiscock said.
Prior to his work with Wadsworth police, Reinke was a military police officer from 1985 through 1992. He served in the Gulf War in 1991.
Reinke has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Kent State University and graduated from Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command.
Reinke replaces Dave Singleton, who retired Dec. 24 after seven years as chief.
Because Wadsworth is a statutory city, it is required to hire a chief from within the department. One lieutenant and five sergeants were eligible for the appointment and in the past few months completed tests targeting specific job functions before a decision was reached.
“(Reinke) knows firsthand the crime trends within our community and what the department needs to continue to effectively deliver the superior law enforcement services that our residents deserve,” Hiscock said.
Reinke said his first order of business is getting settled into his new position.
“It’s a big change from sergeant to chief, and I’ll need time to figure out the job,” he said. “The first thing I need to do is find my comfort level.”
Reinke is married and has two sons. He is not a Wadsworth resident, but declined to say where he lives for safety reasons.
He said he didn’t have any immediate plans to target any specific crime in Wadsworth, believing the department has been
“Wadsworth is a stable community and I don’t think there’s any area needing immediate attention,” he said.
He said teamwork with the officers has enabled the department to run smoothly, and he would like to keep the lines of communication open.
“I think you have to work with other people,” he said. “Police work requires teamwork.”
Contact Lisa Hlavinka at (330) 721-4048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.