VANDALIA — For the first time in three decades, the City of Vandalia has a new police chief.
Kurt Althouse was sworn in by City Manager Jon Crusey on Friday morning in front of dozens of family, friends, and colleagues, and police officers from several agencies.
Althouse had been serving as Acting Chief since the unexpected death of long-time Chief Doug Knight.
“We are fortunate to have Kurt’s leadership to carry the Vandalia Police Division forward and maintain our department’s standard of excellence,” said City Manager Jon Crusey. “We’ve been planning for a transition of leadership within the police department for almost a year, but obviously this is not how we were planning with Chief Knight’s passing.”
“Chief Knight was someone that the law enforcement community and this city looked up to,” said Althouse. “He was what we call a pillar of the community, and for me personally, he exhibited everything we would want in a police chief. He had wisdom and a service mindset that I want to continue in the police department.”
“Obviously, when you look around and see the crowd that came to this ceremony, you get those supporters in the law enforcement community for a reason – honesty, integrity, your work habits – folks that work with you gain a great deal of respect for you,” Crusey said. “He has that respect in the law enforcement community, in the city organization, and in the Vandalia Police Department as well.”
Althouse is a native of Tipp City and spent 22 years in the Montgomery Sheriff’s Office before being appointed as a lieutenant in Vandalia in 2014.
When he began his career, becoming a police chief didn’t seem to be on the horizon, but that changed over time.
“As I progressed through my career, one of the things I looked at was possibly being a police chief one day,” said Althouse. “Ending here in the Vandalia community which is in the area that I grew up is a great pleasure. It’s an honor to be here and serve the citizens of Vandalia and I look forward to serving them for many more years to come.”
Having earned his associate’s degree in Police Science from Sinclair Community College, Kurt began his public safety career as an emergency dispatcher at the Englewood Police Department. He accepted a dispatching position at Montgomery County in 1992 and transferred to Road Patrol in 1994. He was then assigned as an Inspectional Services Unit Detective from 1999 to 2000 before being promoted to a supervisory post. From 2000 to 2014, Kurt served as sergeant in the Jail Division, Court Services, Regional Communication Center, Forensic Services Unit, Administration and Road Patrol, working simultaneously to earn his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Columbia Southern University.
He has been a state-certified instructor and commander with the Ohio Peace Officers’ Training Academy since 2003.
Since coming to the City of Vandalia, Kurt graduated from the FBI National Academy Session 268 and the Police Executive Leadership College. He is a member of the International and Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police as well holding several other professional law enforcement affiliations and serving as a board member and secretary of the Vandalia-Butler Optimist Club and member of the Butler High School Advisory Committee.
Kurt has three sons, Justin, Jeremy and Jaden, as well as his fiancée, Andrea Blair.
Darrell Wacker can be reached at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.