Thank you Chief Doug Francis for all your years of service and keeping Hilliard residents and visitors safe!
Police Chief Douglas Francis, who has led the City’s police department for the past 5 ½ years has announced his intentions to retire this spring. After a distinguished 32 year law enforcement career, Francis will retire from the police department effective April 3, 2015.
Under Francis’ leadership, the agency has excelled to new levels of professionalism and excellence. Known for his innovative outlook, Francis spearheaded the efforts to regionalize the City’s public safety communication center and to fully modernize the agency’s aging radio and computer systems. Also believing in proactive measures for addressing community concerns, Francis saw to the creation of a new Traffic Services Unit responsible for dealing with roadway safety issues in the City and the implementation of a Special Investigations Unit responsible for preemptive criminal interdiction. Chief Francis’ commitment to the Hilliard community has always been unwavering and he is also well known for his pioneering use of Social Media to communicate with our citizens.
“I have been blessed to serve such a wonderful community and to work with a group of men and women who truly epitomize the highest levels of professionalism”, Francis said. “I have been so fortunate to have had this opportunity to be part of such an amazing organization.”
Even though Francis will be retiring from the Division of Police, his service to the citizens of Hilliard is not over. Mayor Donald Schonhardt has announced Francis’ appointment to the new position of “Director of Communications” for the City of Hilliard.
Francis will lead the City’s newly created Department of Communications and Informational Technology. Francis will be the chief spokesperson for the City and will be responsible for media relations and public communications. He will also oversee the various functions of informational management and technology within the City.
“The City was fortunate to hire Chief Francis just a short six years ago. It’s amazing that someone could have such a positive impact on the agency and our community in such a brief period of time” stated Mayor Schonhardt. Schonhardt went on to say “that the Chief’s passion for the community and his ability to develop professional relationships will serve him and the City well in his future position.”
In addition to his service to the Hilliard community, Francis served in several other communities during his law enforcement tenure including: Mifflin Township, the Village of Granville and the City of Worthington. Francis spent 23 years with the City of Worthington until 2009 when he was hired by the Hilliard Division of Police as the first Deputy Chief of Police. Less than 5 months later he was made the Chief of Police following the retirement of Chief of Police Rodney Garnett.
Francis earned his undergraduate degree in Public Administration and a Master of Business Administration degree from Franklin University. He also completed the Police Executive Leadership College and is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. Chief Francis also achieved the certification of a “Certified Law Enforcement Executive” as administered by the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police.
Deputy Chief Robert Fisher will be appointed the Acting Chief of Police upon Chief Francis’ retirement. A timeline to replace Chief Francis has not yet been determined.
A public reception to honor Chief Francis’ service to Law Enforcement and the Hilliard community is being planned for Thursday, April 2, 2015.