BUTLER TWP. — John M. Porter has been sworn in as Butler Township’s new Chief of Police.
Porter received a standing ovation from family, friends, fellow police officers, and township residents after being given his oath of office by Board of Trustees President Mike Lang.
“It means a lot that Butler Township has given me this opportunity and this responsibility,” said Porter. “I’m looking forward to, and I’m excited about, that there are a lot of good things going on here and I’m really glad to be a part of it.”
Lang and the other trustees joked that their phones had been ringing constantly with people praising the choice of Porter.
“I think that goes to the strength of his character,” said Lang. “Obviously people are excited for him (Porter) but they also wanted to let us know that we had made a great decision for our community. That speaks incredibly to who he will be as Police Chief.”
Porter has a long career in law enforcement in the Miami Valley. He has served as the Deputy Chief of Police in Trotwood since May. Prior to that, he served as a Captain since 2009 and was a sergeant in the Trotwood/Madison Township Police Department from 1994-2009. His Law Enforcement career began in 1989 as a patrol officer for Madison Township. He has a diverse educational background attending the University of Dayton, Wright State University, and is currently a student at Sinclair Community College. He attended the Police Executive Leadership College in 2008.
Porter comes to Butler Township after months of controversy over the police department.
Former Police Chief John Cresie resigned earlier this year and accused the trustees of making decisions based on “personal agendas and political expediency.” Cresie said he wanted to resign rather than “go out with a cloud over my name or reputation” based on a predicted push to oust him and hire the Sheriff’s Office for police work.
Cresie’s prediction came true a few months later when Trustees Joe Flanagan and Nick Brusky voted 2-1 over Lang’s objections to disband the police department and contract with the Sheriff. The vote was taken despite not being on the agenda and no public comment prior to the vote.
It was only an opinion by the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office that said police levy funds could not be used to fund the contract with the Sheriff’s Office due to its language that forced the trustees to reverse course.
Lang acknowledged that Porter is taking on a difficult task.
“It is a tremendous mantle he is assuming,” said Lang. “Number one he has to establish himself as the Chief of Police and the new leader for the department. Also, in the next 60 days, he can help us pass a police levy to provide for the longevity of the Butler Township Police Department. It’s a huge task but I have no doubt he is up to it.”
Voters have been asked to approve a 3.5-mil additional police levy that would proved around $750,000 per year in funding while costing tax payers an additional $122.50 for every $100,000 in property value.
Porter said the first order of business is helping to pass the police levy which is on the November ballot. That, he said, will help create stability.
“That (levy) is one of my number one priorities, to get it passed and out of the way,” he said. “That will really help pave the way for the other things not to disappear on their own but it will help soften every thing else that has to happen. When officers and employees don’t have to worry about where their next paycheck is coming from or whether they are going to be laid off or whatever I believe that makes the working environment that much better. Let’s get that levy passed and then start tackling the other issues and move toward positive resolutions.”
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.