Aurora — David A. Frisone is the city’s new police chief, succeeding the retiring Seth Riewaldt, Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin announced at City Council’s June 23 meeting.
Frisone is the executive director of the Lake County Narcotics Agency in Painesville and served as police chief in Canal Fulton from 2005 to 2011.
“David was the first choice of all who interviewed him,” Womer Benjamin said. “Not only does he have outstanding law enforcement credentials, but he also has the integrity and personality that will serve the city well. He finished first in the assessments, indicating his competence in an evaluation by his peers.”
He will be paid an annual salary of $90,000, Womer Benjamin indicated.
Lt. Rob Hagquist, who has been with the Aurora Police Department since 1997, will serve as interim police chief until Frisone begins his tenure, which is expected to be in late August.
Council must confirm Frisone’s appointment as soon as legislation is drawn up, and he must pass an upcoming physical.
A search committee comprised of Womer Benjamin, Law Director Dean DePiero, Riewaldt, Councilman Dennis Kovach and Dr. Dixie Benshoff Ludick began the search in April with assistance of the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police.
Twenty-three applicants were narrowed to a field of nine, who then went through a detailed assessment process conducted by the association. Seven candidates were interviewed, and the final three received second interviews which included Council President George Horvat in the meetings.
“I WAS THOROUGHLY impressed with Mr. Frisone as a potential leader for our police department,” Horvat said. “He has great experience and a demeanor that will fit well with our community for years to come.”
Frisone began his police career with the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department in 1995. A colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, Frisone has also served as a criminal investigator and special agent in the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Akron and got training at the FBI National Academy at Quantico, Va., in 2007. He served in the U.S. Army, earning several honors including a Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medal.
Riewaldt, who officially retired June 27, is the longest serving police officer in city history — 35 years — and the longest serving police chief in the city’s history — 12 years.
He was promoted to sergeant in 1989 and to lieutenant in 1997 before becoming chief in 2003.
As a police officer, Riewaldt worked for nine mayors, and he’s worked for three as chief — Lynn McGill, James Fisher and Womer Benjamin.
Womer Benjamin said Riewaldt “has served his community with distinction and honor for 35 years.”
“He takes his responsibilities seriously, recognizing the importance of crime prevention and community outreach to law enforcement,” she said.
Riewaldt created the department’s Community Enhancement Team, a division of three officers assigned to address concerns of residents and business owners; a police K-9 unit; and the school resource officer program.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187
Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC