Lt. Byron named new chief of police

PIQUA — Lieutenant Rick Byron was announced as the new chief of police for the Piqua Police Department following the Civil Service Commission’s confirmation during their meeting held on Thursday.

Byron will be replacing current Piqua Chief of Police Bruce Jamison, who is planning to retire in late spring. Byron will be sworn in as chief of police sometime between now and June.

“I’m very appreciative of the integrity displayed by the Civil Service Commission, the candidates, and the city staff involved in selecting my replacement. I am proud of Lt. Byron and his hard work to achieve this promotion,” Jamison said. “The citizens of Piqua can be very confident in this selection.”

“It’s exciting,” Byron said following the Civil Service Commission meeting. “It’s an opportunity I look forward to, and I will give it everything I got.”

Byron joined the Piqua Police Department as a police officer in August 1999 and was promoted to lieutenant in 2012. He has over 23 years of police experience.

On Feb. 8 of this year, Byron became a certified law enforcement executive. This certification was presented to him by the Law Enforcement Foundation and Ohio Associations of Chiefs of Police, and it took a total of 14 months to achieve. This certification is valid for three years with certain qualifications to stay active and re-certification every three years.

In 2016, Byron was briefly promoted to the role of deputy chief in February 2016 before he was demoted back to the rank of lieutenant in May 2016 after he did not successfully complete probation for the role of deputy chief.

Byron said that he has more experience and more education now for this role, pointing to his recent certification as a certified law enforcement executive as providing him with better preparation for this new role.

Byron’s current primary role is patrol watch commander where he oversees a shift. He is also the examiner and commander of the Computerized Voice Stress Analyzer (truth verification) unit, the Crisis Negotiation Team commander, in charge of ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) fleet management and of training all officers in safe operation of ATVs, a tactical team operator, and the detective section commander.

“The Piqua Leadership Team is excited about the future of the department. Chief Jamison has personally exemplified a standard of excellence, and we have nothing but confidence in the leadership that will continue after his retirement. Lt. Rick Byron has our full support,” Human Resources Director Catherine Bogan said.

Jamison retiring after 30 years with department

Jamison joined the Piqua Police Department as a police officer in September 1986. He was promoted to detective in 1989, became a lieutenant in 1999, deputy chief in 2004, and chief of police in 2008. As a lieutenant, he acted as an administrative section commander, then a patrol watch commander, and then a patrol bureau commander. As a deputy chief, he also acted as a patrol bureau commander.

Throughout his career, Jamison has been a juvenile officer, child sexual abuse expert witness, and evidence room manager. During his career, he also successfully completed Police Executive Leadership College and became a certified law enforcement executive.

Jamison grew up in Harrisville, Pa. and graduated from the University of Dayton with a bachelor of science degree in Criminal Justice in 1983. Jamison has been married to Karen Jamison for 35 years and has three adult daughters – Kristyn of Kennesaw, Ga.; Tiffany of Green; Heather of Lakewood — and a number of grandchildren.

When asked about what he plans to do following his retirement, Jamison said, “I have many possibilities in retirement that have yet to be discovered.”

Picking a new chief

The Civil Service Commission established the process of choosing the new chief and Human Resources Director Catherine Bogan administered the process, which centered around anonymity, in coordination with an outside, impartial consultation firm. The city of Piqua’s process also only considered internal candidates, including Byron, Deputy Chief Marty Grove, Lieutenant William Thomas, and Lieutenant William Weaver.

City Manager Gary Huff, Jamison, and Bogan were part of a Subject Matter Expert Panel (SME) for this process, and based on their input, the consultation firm developed three assessment exercises to assess performance dimensions, according to a press release from the city of Piqua.

The consultation firm also recruited assessors for the Civil Service Commission’s consideration in accordance with the selected criteria established by the SME panel. These criteria were based on the ideal behaviors and responses revealed through the knowledge, skills, and abilities provoked by each exercise. The consultation firm chose three chiefs of police from other departments located at least 50 miles outside of city limits.

The chief of police candidates underwent a written exercise, mock press conference, and a mock community meeting as part of their assessment process. In the final phase of the process, a community interview was conducted. Each candidate was interviewed by a panel of five people, which included two community members, Bogan, Assistant City Manager Cynthia Holtzapple, and one department head outside of the police department. All results were based on consensus scoring determined by the five-person panel.

“The process requires significant preparation from the candidates,” Bogan said. “All of our candidates demonstrated strong commitment and dedication to their individual jobs and to the citizens of Piqua during their presentation of qualification throughout this process.” Bogan added, “I am proud of the Piqua Police Department and this group of excellent officers in particular.”

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Jamison set to retire in late spring

By Sam Wildow

Miami Valley Today

Reach Sam Wildow at