Local Medina County News

5 vying to be police chief in Medina


MEDINA — Five members of the police force are in the running to lead the department.

According to the Medina Civil Service Commission, the five applicants are Lt. Dave Birckbichler, acting chief, and four sergeants — George Horton, Brett McNabb, Scott Marcum and Ed Kinney.

“We made the decision to keep it in house,” said Mayor Dennis Hanwell, who also serves as the city’s safety director. “We had a qualified group of candidates.”

  • Birckbichler, 55, began his career with the Medina force in 1995. He became a lieutenant in 2010.
  • Horton, 51, joined the force in 1991 and became a sergeant in 1996.
  • McNabb, 48, has been with the department since 1998 and became a sergeant in 2008.
  • Marcum, 41, also became a sergeant in 2008 and has been on the force since 2000.
  • Kinney, 43, has been a member of the Medina department since 1997 and became a sergeant in 2011.

The next step for the candidates is twofold, said Laureen Wilson, secretary of the Medina Civil Service Commission.

First, she said, a police assessment test will be administered Sunday, followed by a written test Sept. 14.

Wilson said she hasn’t been informed about the details of the testing, but it will be administered by three former police chiefs. She said the assessment sometimes entails putting candidates through a simulated, role-playing situation, or perhaps receiving five minutes to prepare an impromptu presentation.

“It tests their skills in thinking, oral skills and presentation,” Wilson said.

The written test is given by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

One former chief will be there to monitor it, Wilson said.

After the testing, the commission has about 10 days to certify the final three candidates.

Hanwell said a psychologist will interview the finalists to establish their strengths and weaknesses.

“They’ll talk to each candidate,” Wilson said. “They’ll provide the mayor feedback about different things the mayor is concerned about. Then the mayor will make a decision.”

Hanwell will have 30 days to appoint a new chief after receiving the list of finalists. So, there could be a new chief sometime in October.

Birckbichler has been acting chief since former chief Patrick Berarducci went on medical leave around the Thanksgiving holiday last year. He resigned and retired June 21. Wilson said the new chief’s annual salary will start at $94,151.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or

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