Aurora — Not many families have one police chief in their midst, yet the Nietert family has two — Aurora residents and twin brothers Kevin and Kris Nietert.
Kevin has been police chief in South Euclid for about 6 1/2 years. On Oct. 14, Kris was sworn in as police chief in Bedford.
“Becoming chief provides the opportunity to test one’s leadership mettle,” Kris said. “I look forward to the challenges, and I feel confident I can leave a positive mark on the department and the community.”
“I’m very proud of Kris,” Kevin said. “He’s a smart guy. He’ll do well.”
The brothers are fraternal twins. Still, Kevin said people sometimes have trouble telling them apart if they only know one of them.
“I was at church one day and a lady said to me, ‘I didn’t realize you had a twin brother. I couldn’t figure out why you didn’t recognize me in church,’” Kevin said.
“Most of the time, it’s people who know one of us but not both. My brother tends to cut his hair much shorter and also is a little shorter in height.”
The twin brothers are 49, and Kris is five minutes older than Kevin.
“Everyone needs a sounding board,” Kris said. “Having a twin brother in the same profession makes it easy to obtain advice and opinions on personal and professional matters.”
Kris, who started his career in the pharmacy field, is a licensed pharmacist. He has been a police officer for 23 years.
The Nieterts come from a law enforcement family. A third brother, Kyle, is a police officer in University Heights, while their father, Carson, 72, is a retired Bedford police lieutenant.
“My father is a wonderful man and a silent inspiration,” Kris said. “He never pushed the profession. I always enjoyed his stories and the camaraderie he displayed with his fellow officers.
“THE WORK seemed interesting, and he never seemed to have a bad day at work. He appeared fair and honest in his dealings with the public.”
Carson’s wife, Kathleen, was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer and died in April 2006 at age 66.
“Mom would say she didn’t want us to be policemen,” Kevin said. “As a police officer, you’re working different shifts and on holidays. It’s not really conducive to raising a family and doing things like going to football games. But I’m sure our mother would have been extremely proud [of Kris’ promotion].”
Kris succeeds Greg Duber, who retired as Bedford police chief after 33 years in law enforcement work.
“Chief Duber was a dedicated employee with the best interest of the department and city in mind,” Kris said. “He was very focused and instrumental in implementing several programs including the K-9 unit. He was also very involved in the construction of the City Hall building in 2004 and set up our current jail policies, rules and regulations in compliance with the state standards.”
Duber said Kris is “a very dedicated, hard working and honest person and police officer.”
“I highly respect Kris, his father, whom I worked with, and his brother, Kevin, who I got to know better through the Cuyahoga County Police Chief’s Association,” Duber said. “Kris was my executive lieutenant until I had the position changed to deputy chief, which he accepted.
“The job as chief will be different from what he is used to, but he is an intelligent, hard-working and dedicated person and will adjust to the position just fine. I’m confident he will lead the department effectively into the future.”
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187
Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC