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Medina Township trustees offer police chief position (UPDATED)

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MEDINA TWP. — Medina Township trustees have picked their new police chief.

Trustee Mark Radice said the board offered the position to Medina County Sheriff Lt. Travis Colonius on Tuesday night after a special meeting at the township hall.

If Colonius accepts the job, the 49-year-old Medina resident will receive a four-year contract worth $85,000 annually with full benefits. His starting date would be March 4. Trustees said they sent the contract to the prosecutor’s office to be drawn up.

Colonius said he had no comment Wednesday.

He will replace David Arbogast who resigned in late November after more than 20 years as Medina Township’s police chief. Sgt. Todd Zeija has been interim chief since the first week of January.

Thaddeus C. Hete, 61, chief of security for Warrensville Heights Schools and the former police chief of Norton, and Colonius – were finalists for the job. They were interviewed by trustees Tuesday evening in executive session.

They were the top two candidates in the rankings from the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police. Colonius scored a 90.67 and Hete an 89.33 in the assessment by the chiefs.

The trustees started with 16 candidates. The top six were sent to the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police for the assessment panel. Candidates went through oral and written assessments and a scenario-based test.

“I feel very confident we’ll get a very qualified person,” Radice said previously.

If Colonius accepts the job, he’ll need to undergo a psychological evaluation, a polygraph test and a background test.

Colonius, who heads the sheriff’s road patrol, has been with the sheriff’s office since 1996. He has held the positions of corrections officer, sergeant, first sergeant and jail administrator. He also serves as the leader for the Sheriff’s Hostage Negotiation Team.

Prior to joining the sheriff’s office, Colonius was employed by the West Virginia Department of Public Safety and Military Affairs. He also served for seven years in the Ohio Army National Guard as a cavalry scout, attaining the rank of sergeant.

He would be the third member of the sheriff’s office in the last five years to take over a local law enforcement agency, joining Dave Swinehart, chief ranger of the Medina County Park District, and Dave Centner, police chief of Hinckley Township.

Colonius holds a Bachelor of Arts from Kent State University and a Master of Science from Mountain State University in Beckley, West Virginia. He is also a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.



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