By Andrea Cordle
“People always tell you, when it’s time to go, you will know,” said Grove City Division of Police Chief Steve Robinette. The chief’s time is now.
Robinette retired from the police department on Aug. 28.
“There comes a time to step away,” he said.
Robinette has been in law enforcement for 33 years. He started out at a police department in Urbana, but came to Grove City as a patrol officer in 1984. He moved up through the ranks and eventually became chief in April 2011.
“Law enforcement is a lifestyle,” said Robinette. “Once I step away, it will be a bit of a mind shift.”
William Vedra, safety director for the city of Grove City, said Robinette was an innovative leader, especially in the technology arena. Vedra said the chief was the mind behind the city’s Smart 911 technology. Grove City was the first in the state of Ohio to offer Smart 911, which allows residents to create a free safety profile. Any time an emergency call is placed, 911 dispatchers and other emergency personnel would have access to that profile, which could save time and ultimately a life.
According to Vedra, Robinette is also responsible for the city’s crime mapping tool and adding the police department to social media.
Robinette said he sees his biggest accomplishment in the quality of work in the police department.
“I’m truly amazed by what they do, by the service they provide,” he said.
Robinette said he plans to stay in the community. He serves as president of the Grove City Rotary Club and plans to continue on in that role. He also plans to travel with his wife before starting a new business venture.
According to Vedra, the city is in the early stages of finding a replacement as chief of police. Captain Jeff Pearson will serve as interim chief until a permanent replacement can be found. Vedra said he hopes to have someone in that role by the end of the year.
The new chief will oversee a department with approximately 60 sworn officers.