Milan's top cop quits; 'It was the politics that was tough for me'

Salary increase, 'better working conditions' lure Jim Rose to Perrysburg.
Aaron Krause
Sep 24, 2013


Police Chief Jim Rose said it was a "very difficult decision" for him to resign and accept a deputy chief position with the Perrysburg Police Department.

However, Rose said the Perrysburg department offered him $30,000 more than his current salary and he knows the department's chief well. Both worked at the Willard Police Department for several years.

"The citizens (of Milan) have been great," said Rose, who served as Milan's police chief for two years and recently announced his resignation. "I really enjoy this community. There's been a lot of great interaction."

Rose said he feels he's made a positive impact on Milan. That has included converting the department's records management system from paper to electronic-based, providing officers with access to the Internet and giving them e-mail accounts and initiating the Officer Phil program. The latter, which was funded through local businesses, teaches children about safety in different aspects of life, such as traffic safety, Internet safety, bicycle safety and "stranger danger."

Rose said he decided last Tuesday to accept the position in Perrysburg.

"Initially I thought I would retire here," said the outgoing chief, whose last day is next Wednesday. But then he heard about the open position in Perrysburg, which he said "offered me better working conditions."

When asked to expound, Rose said there were "some people" in Milan who didn't want him there. He added he believes they didn't like the idea that someone not from Milan became its police chief.

"It was the politics that was tough for me," Rose said.

However, he added that it didn't affect his ability to perform his job.

"I didn't let it affect anything," Rose said.

He was asked if the "politics" played a role in his decision to accept the Perrysburg position.

"It enters into it a little bit," Rose said. "Is it the final decision? Absolutely not."

Mayor Steve Rockwell said he was surprised to learn that Rose is leaving.

"Jim did a great job for the village of Milan. I hate to see him go," the mayor said. "From my standpoint I thought Jim was an excellent employee and a good chief. I have no problem with him. He fulfilled the expectations."

Rose's resignation letter to Rockwell, dated Sept. 18, reads "Please accept this letter as my resignation as Chief of Police for the Village of Milan effective Oct. 3, 2013."

Council member Richard Maloney called Rose "a good man. You don't find a person like him every day. I like him. I thought he was a wonderful police chief."

Maloney added that he doesn't believe many people know that Rose wanted to come to Milan.

From October 1974 to February 1979, he served as a sergeant with the U.S. Marines Military Police Armed Forces Police Detachment. From April 1979 to August 1985, Rose was a patrol officer with the Willard Police Department. From August 1985 through January 1988, he was chief deputy with the Huron County Sheriff's Office.

Before coming to Milan, Rose was the court security manager for the Ohio Supreme Court and oversaw security operations. He held the position from June 2005 until July 2011. Rose earlier retired from the Delaware, Ohio Police Department.

Rose was hired in Milan in mid-July 2011, replacing retired Chief Jim Ward, who served Milan for more than 35 years.

In August 2012, more than 230 village residents attended a council meeting during which council voted unanimously, and without discussion, to hire Rose as the village's full-time chief. His probationary period had recently finished. At the time, rumors had been spreading that Rockwell's delay in permanently hiring Rose signaled he was considering firing him.

But Rockwell said he never considered firing Rose. At that council meeting, he recommended to members that they hire Rose full time.

Council president John Fox, a sergeant with the Milan Police Department for 16 years, was one of three people who interviewed 16 individuals for the job after Ward retired. The other interviewers were former mayor Robert Bickley and Greg Bodkin, a former Huron police officer and current Milan resident who teaches criminal justice at EHOVE.

Fox said of the people interviewed, Rose "by far rose to the top."

"It's a sad day in Milan," Fox said about Rose's announcement. "We lost a good man. He's brought the police department up to modern times."

Fox was asked about any administrative conflicts or issues with Rose.

"This has been going on since we hired him," Fox said.

He added that fiscal officer Mary Bruno "kept reducing his budget to the point he couldn't do any work. She said we don't have any money in the general fund."

Fox wondered aloud what happened to the money raised through the increase in village taxes by a half percent, enacted a couple years ago.

Bruno was out of the office Monday. She did not return a message left on her home phone in time for publication.

Overall, Rose has more than 32 years of law enforcement experience, including being a special deputy with the U.S. Marshal's Office. His experience includes local time with the Willard Police Department and Huron County Sheriff's Office.

"He was the chief deputy for Tom Dunlap," said Milan resident Greg Mehling, who has been Rose's friend for 25 years.

After Dunlap decided not to run for sheriff, Rose ran in 1988. Mehling said Rose came in second in a four-candidate race that resulted in the election of Richard Sutherland.

Mehling met Rose about the time he was in Willard and Mehling was working for the Norwalk Police Department.

"Our second good public official has left here in 20 months -- and that's Jim Rose," said Mehling, who has lived in Milan for eight years.

"He has been a great police chief -- the best thing that's happened to this town in 20 years. Besides that, he's just a great human being. They just screwed with this guy until finally he said, 'I've had enough,'" Mehling said.

When asked to clarify, Mehling said he believes there was tension between Rose and Bruno over financial issues.

"It was a really bad situation in this little town. ... He had had enough of it. He had this opportunity (in Perrysburg) and took it," Mehling said.

Rose lived in Delaware where Mehling's mother lived. Mehling, whose father died in 1990, said Rose would help his widowed mother by raking leaves, shoveling snow, cleaning the gutters and cutting grass.

"He did this for years -- and wouldn't take a penny for it. That's the kind of guy he is," Mehling said.

"Jim was the best thing that happened to this (Milan) community," he said. "He was extremely overqualified for this job. He has been my friend for 25 years.

"He said he would be real active in the community -- and he did that," Mehling added.

Rockwell said council will vote at its 7 p.m. meeting Wednesday on whether to accept Rose's resignation. Rockwell added council will discuss possible replacements, but Sgt. Bob Meister, the senior employee under Rose, would probably serve as interim chief until a full-time person is hired.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Reflector Staff Writer Cary Ashby contributed to this story.



Milan's Fiscal Officer or whatever title it goes by needs to go and the council and mayor need to do it now!! The position needs to be turned into an elected position. The fiscal officer has caused more problems then solutions. The Fiscal Officer has pushed many great people out of positions in Milan and is nothing but a problem. Throughout the years the state has audited the town and offered suggestions, year in and year out the officer does not abide by them and flys by the seat of their pants. Again, I reiterate...turn that position into an elected one and make that person accountable directly to the people.


We have decided it is time to change. Sign the petition to get the Fiscal Officer's position turned into an elected one. We need someone that is directly accountable to the people. Here is the link:

JMOP's picture

Wow Reflector! I really think you're trying to dig up dirt. Rose was offered $30,000 more, and working with a buddy of his. I think it may be Rose who was being uncomfortable by being the "outsider", and doesn't want to admit it was the "greed" that made him leave.

With that being said. Thank you for your fine service Chief Rose. God bless you and good luck in your future endeavors.


Maybe now the council will hire the person who should have been Chief to begin with-Pat Fox. He has been a cop for many years AND was raised in Milan.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


i didn't write anything wrong? Just about the good ol boy network would be complete with Fox as chief? and a mentality of being above everyone else who knew him back in school.


I see so is it a members only club that you have to be a part of? I do not believe that serves the best interest of the village.


Re: "Perrysburg department offered him $30,000 more than his current salary,"

Old saying: When they say it's NOT the money - It's the money.


Sure money helps, but i believe the money was just a sweet perk(excuse) to get the h@ll out. There were and are soooo many eyes in town watching his every move, just looking for something to get him on. He is good and fair man. But not a small town player. Not just MILAN, but look at Monroeville, why you think Bond has never become chief? Wouldn't buck to the network. Names mean everything in small towns period.


Bond is not the chief of Monroeville because he can't be trusted.....just ask his friends and people he has worked with.


sure, Bond can't be trusted? Trusted to going along for sake of going along. more like it! Right and wrong still holds for some.


Wouldn't go along??He'd cannibalize his mother if it got him the job. 30 years in Monroeville, do you actually think thats by choice?

hit the road jack

truckin :I am sure the people of Monroeville wouldn't mind Bond taking his pillow and either coming over to your house or going to work in milan!

Fibber Mcgee

A big loss for the village.
Congrats Jim on your new position.....

Cliff Cannon

@ Fibber Mcgee : In a really unique wonderful way, that seems more and more common everyday. Chief Rose' uncle is my kind of father in law.

Having said that, kind of clearly. Let me say this: His uncle is a fantastic man ! Further,the Chief's Dad is older than his uncle, which means he helped make his uncle into the man he is

So, knowing a major part of Chief Rose' linage, I think,despite never having met the Chief. You most certainly must be--- 100% correct it is, " A big loss for the village "

P.S. Obviously, a major part of a huge pay increase,as well as being able to pick & choose where one works, is about being good at what you do. Here's hoping a lot of impressionable kids see that critical part of Chief Rose' move


Anything is better than the double dipper Ward who thought he looked like Burt Reynolds in "Smokey and the Bandit".


If anyone one of the people who made the comments of him leaving because of a 30,000 pay raise would have been offered a raise such as that and better working conditions to boot, you would have left in a heart beat just as he did and you know it! Especially these days.


Have to agree with you on that one bama......I mean who wouldn't leave for 30K more? I don't understand why people take it so personal, yet would do the exact same thing.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.


Apples and Oranges? Not making sense this time my friend


Re: "Not making sense,"

What, you don't understand the principal of character over the desire for money?

H*ll, even one of the one-time richest men in the world, JP Morgan knew that.

"Untermyer: 'Is not commercial credit based primarily upon money or property?'

Morgan: 'No sir. The first thing is character.'"

Hopefully the Chief will find the political climate in Perrysburg more suited to his liking.

All the best!

In my opinon

@ Truckin--I totally agree only it's more like "Prunes and Lemons???


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


If you look back at what the auditor has said, it is the same thing over and over again. Also, what about concerns with confidentiality being broken? She released information concerning a private citizen and business (The Wonder Bar) about the owner selling...all without the owners knowledge or permission.


Small town politics at its finest

yogi bear

Anyone that knows Jim knows he is a first class individual. He was way over-qualified for Milan. On to bigger and better things. Good Luck Jim!


Politics at work as usual.30k more a year seems a little far fetched for a deputy.


If it wasn't for the fiscal officer in Milan, there would be no police department. I don't think people realize the job she does for the city of Milan. I say tell them to pipe down....


That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. In Milan there are dedicated tax dollars to fund the police department, Fiscal Officer or not. It's how those funds are managed...that is our problem. Year after year the officer has shuffled the deck to support one department more then another, or vice versa. This needs to end, and we need the current officer out and an elected by the people officer in.