Jeffrey Blackwell is Cincinnati's new police chief

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. has selected the new leader of the Cincinnati Police Department.

Jeffrey Blackwell, currently Deputy Police Chief in Columbus, Ohio, will serve as the next police chief for the City of Cincinnati.

Blackwell is a 26-year veteran of the Columbus Division of Police and Columbus native. According to the Columbus PD, he's worked in all of the policing sub-divisions within the community.

Dohoney previously formed a screening committee to review applications and make recommendations. The 11-person committee, including a former police chief, a former prosecuting attorney, Airforce veterans, business leaders and community members, narrowed the pool from 28 candidates to four.

Among the final candidates was Cincinnati's Interim Police Chief Paul Humphries.

All four had extensive resumes, such as a law enforcement background of more than 20 years each. On Friday, Dohoney announced he had selected Blackwell to serve as Cincinnati's next top cop.

Humphries told FOX19 he respects the decision and looks forward to assisting Deputy Chief Blackwell.

Blackwell graduated from the police academy in 1987. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the Columbus Division of Police didn't want to hire him after his initial background check. According to documents obtained by the Columbus Dispatch, Blackwell admitted to experimenting with cocaine and he was fired from three restaurants.

He later appealed and the Columbus Civil Service Commission gave him another chance because he scored well on a civil-service exam.

Upon his hiring, Blackwell quickly moved up the ranks and has held his current position since 2009 where local officials are optimistic with the city's decision.

"They did this pretty quickly but they did this professionally, and I think the main thing is I think we have a great chief in Chief Blackwell, and I also hope he sticks around Cincinnati for awhile," said City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld.

FOP President Kathy Harrell said she was a bit surprised the city didn't go with Humphries, but she says moving forward one of the top priorities for a new chief is hiring more officers.

"We haven't hired since 2008. We're down 177 officers. We can't continue to police the way that is expected with the changes that have been made in Cincinnati, with the growth that is occurring without hiring an additional recruit class," Harrell told FOX19.

Blackwell will begin his tenure as Cincinnati's police chief when he is sworn in on September 30. The new chief will make a salary of $132,000 a year.

June 21 marked the former Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig's last day on the job. Craig left Cincinnati to take the same position in Detroit.

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