The City of Solon continues to search for its next police chief, scheduling interviews later this month of top candidates.

A total of 21 applications were received for the position, which would fill the place of Christopher P. Viland, whose last day was Sept. 3. Mr. Viland, a Solon resident who became chief in 2011, was named the city of Cleveland’s first police inspector general, a new position that will monitor and audit Cleveland Division of Police policies.

Among the candidates vying for the position are former and current chiefs of police from surrounding communities, as well as six officers within the Solon Police Department.

Mayor Edward H. Kraus said he expects to interview about eight candidates and make a decision by the end of September.

“I’m looking for strong leadership,” he said. “For me, that’s the most important aspect.” In addition, the new chief would have to have extensive experience in law enforcement and strong communications skills, the mayor said.

“It’s a department of the city, but it’s also a para-military operation,” Mayor Kraus said. “The command structure has to be rigidly followed in a police department because you are talking about people’s lives, both in terms of the public and the police officers (themselves.)”

Mayor Kraus said that the chief’s ability to communicate to the department’s “top tier,” including lieutenants and sergeants is “critical.”

Interviews will be held over two days, Sept. 24-25. Mayor Kraus said he is looking for candidates who have strong contacts with the FBI, the county sheriff and local police departments, as well as someone open to ideas and thoughts from the public.

“I am looking for someone who really understands and embraces the role of community policing,” he said.

Mayor Kraus said he expects to select a chief from the top applicants. Lt. Joseph T. Alestock, an applicant for the chief’s position, is currently serving as acting chief through the month.

In addition to Mr. Alestock, internal candidates applying for the position are Lt. Jamey Hofmann; Sgt. Steve Galaska; Lt. Richard A. Tonelli; William McGee; and Det. Sgt. Donald S. Haines. Other applicants include: Todd T. Hansen, Maple Heights police chief; Donald J. Michalosky, a captain at MetroHealth Medical Center security and assistant to the chief; Kevin Nietert, South Euclid police chief; Victor S. McDowell Jr., Interim director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Cleveland Metroparks; Bryan M. Kaminski, Cuyahoga County deputy sheriff administrative sergeant; Dale Merchant, lieutenant with the Garfield Heights Police Department; Daniel M. Ross, a lieutenant with the Cleveland Division of Police; Frank Russell DiMenna, Tallmadge deputy chief of police; Mark T. Maguth, lieutenant with Cleveland Division of Police; Kim Nuesse, Minerva Park chief of police; Joseph L. Montemurro, West Liberty University chief of police; S. David Ruggiero, retired sergeant with Harris County Sheriff’s Office; Mark Kaye, lieutenant with the Garfield Heights Police Department; Terence M. Calloway, chief of police and instructor with Florida A&M University; and Johnny E. Hamm, lieutenant with the Cleveland Division of Police.

For the last decade, Sue Reid has covered the government, business climate and residents of Solon. A Times reporter for 22 years, Ms. Reid has earned commendations from the Ohio Newspaper Association and Cleveland Press Association.

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