GC chief of police to retire

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 Grove City Division of Police Chief Dennis Deskins announced his retirement at the Aug. 20 Grove City council meeting. He has been with the department for 29 years.

Grove City Chief of Police Dennis Deskins will retire Sept. 28.

The announcement was made at the Aug. 20 Grove City council meeting. Deskins has been with the Division of Police for 29 years. He came to the department in 1978 as a dispatcher and worked his way up through the ranks.

"I struggled with this decision," said Deskins. "Now I am looking forward to the holiday. I am going to enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas with the family and not worry about being called out."

The retirement comes just after the police department had a successful on-sight assessment with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). This has allowed the department to maintain its accredited status, which less than 10 percent of law enforcement agencies have attained nationally.

"I leave knowing we won the Super Bowl," said Deskins. "It is a great feeling of accomplishment, knowing that the division of police will continue to be among the best in Ohio."

CALEA assessors evaluate departments every three years.

"It is a huge project and I am very proud to be a part of it," said Mayor Cheryl Grossman.

After his retirement, Deskins plans to spend more time with his family but he is not ruling out other opportunities.

"I am not going to just sit on the farm," he said. "I’m going to keep my options open."

Deskins graduated from Marion-Franklin High School then went to Johnson Bible College in Tennessee, but completed his bachelor’s degree from Ohio Dominican College. Deskins is also a graduate of Police Executive Leadership College and Northwestern University Traffic Institute School or Staff Command. He is also a Certified Law Enforcement Executive, or CLEE graduate.

Throughout his career he received many honors including, Officer of the Year, Medal of Valor, Mayor’s Civic Award, Good Conduct Award, Honor Guard, Blue Shield, and the Education Award. Deskins is the only Grove City officer who has been named Officer of the Year twice.

"I have 29 years worth of wonderful memories," said the chief. "I cannot imagine having made a career anywhere else as a peace officer."

Grossman said she knew Deskins was considering retirement but did not know it would happen so soon.

"I have worked with Dennis for 14 years. He is a very special friend and I will miss him dearly," she said.

Grossman also added, "He has been a wonderful chief who has brought a wealth of knowledge to his position. He is one of the most dedicated and caring people I know."

The city administration will select Deskins’ replacement through a civil service process. They met with representatives from the Ohio Police Chiefs Association (OPCA) on Aug. 21. The OPCA will review applicants and make their recommendation to the city.

"We are looking for someone similar to our current chief," said Grossman. "They will have to be professional and innovative  and above all committed to Grove City."

Deskins and his wife, Debbie, have five children ranging in age from 18 to 30 and one grandchild. After his retirement, they plan to travel, camp and play golf.

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