October 30, 2003


Carl Bush

Trotwood sergeant selected as next Village police chief

Carl Bush, a sergeant with the Trotwood Police Department who has worked in law enforcement for 26 years, has been selected as the next Yellow Springs police chief, Village Manager Rob Hillard said on Monday.

Hillard called the selection of Bush preliminary and said he and Bush are currently negotiating a contract. Hillard said he notified Bush of the decision late last week. The manager said that he hopes to get a contract signed soon and have Bush starting his new post in early December.

If a contract is successfully negotiated, Bush would replace Jim Miller, who, after running the Yellow Springs Police Department for 10 years, was placed on paid administrative leave in March and officially retired in September. In the spring, Miller said that he decided to retire because of a difference of opinion between him and Hillard about the management of the Police Department.

Captain John Grote has been serving as interim chief since March. Grote did not apply for the chief’s position.

Bush was selected from an initial pool of 81 applicants, of whom none was from Yellow Springs. Hillard and the Police Chief Search Committee narrowed the list of candidates down to five, who were then interviewed by Hillard and the search committee. Bush and Jeff Witte, a patrol supervisor with the Cincinnati suburb of Springdale, were selected as finalists for the job and participated in a community forum last month.

Hillard described the search process as “very thorough.” “I’ve been really pleased with our process,” he said.

Bush has spent most of his 26 years in law enforcement with the Trotwood Police Department. Since 2000 he has been responsible for accreditation, records management and investigating serious internal complaints in Trotwood. He also served as a detective sergeant and was responsible for managing homicide investigations and implementing a computerized case management system. Previously, he spent 17 years as a patrol officer and patrol sergeant at Trotwood.

He also has teaching experience, serving as a police academy instructor at the Miami Valley Career Technology Center in Clayton for the last four years and at Sinclair Community College from 2000 to 2002.

Bush is currently working on a B.S. in criminal justice administration from Park University in Parkville, Mo. He has also completed law enforcement courses from Sinclair, Northwestern University, the Law Enforcement Foundation in Columbus and the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy in London, Ohio.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Bush said that he’s “done just about every aspect” of policing during his career, which he called “a plus, especially in a smaller agency.”

He said that he applied for the chief’s position here because he likes working in a smaller community, which, he said, “gives you more chances to contact and affect people.”

When he applied for the job, Bush said, he thought that Yellow Springs would be “an interesting place to work.” That hunch appears to have proved true for the 45-year-old. He said that the more time he has spent in Yellow Springs during the search process the more comfortable he’s felt, like this village could be home. He attributed that feeling to the people he’s encountered, villagers’ involvement in the community and Yellow Springs’ diversity.

In a letter he sent to Hillard about the opening, Bush said that Yellow Springs is “an ideal setting for my career goals as well as for my family.”

Bush said that he first wants to learn more about the police department’s operations and the community before he makes any decisions and plans for the department.

Bush, who currently lives in Clayton, said that he wants to live in Yellow Springs, but that will depend on what’s available on the housing market. If he cannot purchase a home here, he said that he will buy one close by.

The Village does not have a policy requiring the police chief to live in town, though Hillard said that Bush must live closer to town than he currently does.

Hillard said that out of all the candidates who applied for the chief’s position, Bush “best emulates the characteristics and qualities that were developed through our process.”

Hillard singled out Bush’s experience working with a diverse workforce in a diverse community. “With his familiarity in that environment I think he’s an excellent candidate for the position,” Hillard said. The manager said that Bush’s background would help him understand why respect for diversity is an “important value” in Yellow Springs.

In addition, Hillard said that Bush not only has “vast experience” with administrative duties, including developing policies and procedures, but he is also willing to perform nonadministrative duties such as road patrol and investigating.

—Robert Mihalek