VANDALIA — The City of Vandalia has announced that Police Chief Doug will retire on June 1 after more than 37 years of service to the city, 30 as police chief.
His retirement will cap a 46 year career that began in the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and continued as a campus police officer at Ohio State University.
Knight was hired as a patrol officer by the City of Vandalia in 1979 and promoted to sergeant and then deputy police chief in 1984. After a short stint as deputy police chief at the University of Cincinnati, Knight returned to Vandalia to become chief in 1988.
Chief Knight earned his undergraduate degree in criminal justice at the University of Dayton and received a master of arts degree from Central Michigan University with a major in management and supervision. He is a graduate of the 161st Session of the FBI National Academy as well as the inaugural session of the Law Enforcement Foundation’s Police Executive Leadership College.
“I’ve had the blessing to get up every single day excited about coming to work for 37 years, 30 as police chief,” said Knight. “To look back at a 46 year career in law enforcement and think what else could I have done, I can say with absolute certainty there’s nothing else I would liked to have done.”
Knight said there are few places where being a police officer or police chief is better than Vandalia.
“This has to be one of the finest police chief opportunities in the state without a doubt,” Knight said. “I’ve traveled across the country, visited dozens of agencies, know hundreds of police chiefs and very few of them have enjoyed anything better than I have here in Vandalia. We have always had supportive city managers and staff, supportive mayors and city councils. The common denominator is we all wanted to provide the best possible service to Vandalians.”
“Chief Knight’s community leadership stretches much farther than his role with the City of Vandalia,” said City Manager Jon Crusey.
Crusey noted that Knight has been a longtime member and past president of the Vandalia Lions Club, a member of the Vandalia-Butler Historical Society, Vandalia Sister Cities and the Vandalia-Butler Chamber of Commerce. He is also a past board member of the Vandalia-Butler Foundation and is an active parishioner at St. Christopher Church.
Knight said that that legacy of service will continue in retirement although he has no specific plans now except to spend more time with his wife and grandchildren.
“I have a two and five year old grandaughter and I plan to spend more time as an engaged grandfather,” he said. “That is mission number one. Mission number two will be to stay engaged in the community in some fashion as a citizen volunteer. I can’t sit at home – that’s not me – and I am passionate about the City of Vandalia, so I’m going to look for opportunities as a citizen volunteer. I won’t carry a badge and I won’t carry a gun, but I will be a Vandalian trying to make Vandalia a better place.”
In a press release, Crusey said that the process of identifying Vandalia’s next police chief is currently underway.
“Doug began preparing the Vandalia Division of Police for his eventual retirement many years ago,” Crusey said. “I can say without hesitation that his influence will continue to lead our agency’s mission and success. Our citizen satisfaction rate is among the highest — if not the highest — among law enforcement agencies in this region. We intend to continue this tradition.”
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.