EATON — Preble County resident Chad DePew served his last day as City of Eaton Police Chief on Friday, Jan. 19. He ended his service to the city with a farewell party held at Fire Station 2.
Monday, Jan. 22, was his first day as Major of the Kettering Health Network/Grandview Medical Center Police Department.
Sergeant Eric Beeghly has been named Interim Chief of Police, until a permanent replacement is chosen. Both Sergeant Beeghly and Sergeant Steve Hurd are in the running for the position, but the city has also accepted external applications for the position.
The farewell party not only gave people an opportunity congratulate DePew, but it also allowed his two sergeants to give him several gifts and awards, honoring his longtime service.
“This is a very happy day for Chad, but we’re also feeling a big loss. I knew you would leave, but I didn’t know it would be so soon. You have made a big impact on our agency and I thank you for that,” Beeghly said.
City Manager Brad Collins then took the microphone, saying, “We have something to present to you this morning. It’s been an enjoyment these past five years, especially as you’ve gotten married and have come out of your shell a little bit. I see a big change in you, with both professional and personal growth. These are going to be big shoes to fill.
“This is an award to thank you for your many years of service. We appreciate all you have done here.”
After he accepted the award, DePew said, “It seems it wasn’t that long ago that I started here in 2002. Time flew. A lot of our employees here now were there then. We’ve all stayed here, which says a lot about the department and the city — when people come here, they stay here. We don’t have a lot of turnover, and that is due to all of you.
“The 15 years I have been here have been truly enjoyable. There have been a lot of good moments, a lot of great experiences, and I have been blessed to get to know all of you and get to work with you. It is truly a bittersweet experience. I will be a spectator from this place forward, cheering all of you on.”
Next, Beeghly shared some of the accomplishments DePew has brought to the department, including: the mission statement, K-9 program, and crisis intervention training.
Former Chief DePew was the city’s first K-9 handler, with Koda. Unfortunately, after retirement, Koda passed away last year. The department presented DePew with an award, noting his contribution to the K-9 program, and will hang one in the lobby of the Eaton Police Department, memorializing Koda.
Not only can DePew have the reminder of Koda in his home, but he knows Koda’s legacy lives on for all to see.
Sergeant Hurd presented former Chief DePew with a gift. Also present to honor DePew was Courtney Griffith with the YWCA of Dayton.
“As most of you know, we operate the domestic violence shelter in Preble County. Our number one goal is to provide safety for our clients and their children, and we would not be able to do that without Chief DePew and the entire police division,” she said.
“He has been a committed member of our Advisory Board for over eight years. He is dedicated to our mission and our services. With his leadership, Eaton Police Division serves our staff, our clients, and our community with excellence and respect.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH