Written by Cindy Jacoby
February 18, 2011
Special to the Suburban Press
The village of Genoa’s safety committee expects to see a report Monday regarding what the community is looking for when council hires a new police chief, an official said.
Mark Putnam was hired as a consultant last month to interview residents, business owners, residents, as well as village staff regarding what attributes a police chief candidate must possess.
The review came about following the resignation of Genoa Police Chief Randy Hill in December. The chief resigned with no comment.
“Mark said he had a few more interviews to do but would be ready to present something to the safety committee when they meet Feb. 22,” said Village Administrator Kevin Gladden.
Village council meets in regular session on that date. The safety committee meets prior to the full council meeting.
Putnam’s familiarity with Genoa and the law enforcement community was the key reason he was selected for the job. Putnam’s professional career spans employment with the City of Perrysburg and Clay Township police departments and the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.
He lives in Clay Township.
“That is why Mark is perfect for the job. He lives just outside the village. He knows the village. He eats here. He shops here. People can talk to him,” Gladden said.
Putnam’s contract limits him to 80 hours, at $25 per hour, according to village records.
“He’s about half way through that right now,” Gladden said,
Hill had been chief of the Genoa Police Department since October 2008.
However, his tenure had been mired in controversy almost from the beginning. Initially, there were complaints of heavy-handed traffic detail as well as a crackdown on local bars. He was also at odds with several members of council.
The problems continued, escalating to claims of internal department harassment and a hostile work environment arly last summer. By fall, no action had still been taken by council.
Then in mid-November, village council voted to place the chief on administrative leave and conduct an investigation. What prompted the move was never revealed. Weeks later, Hill resigned.
Mayor Mark Williams said in previous interviews that the officers on the department are handling the shifts usually worked by the chief. Sgt. Todd Mocniak is in charge of the department until the position is filled.