Rocky River Police Chief Kelly J. Stillman has been hired as the next Beachwood police chief, Mayor Martin S. Horwitz announced Sept. 17. He will start Sept. 28.

“We were fortunate to attract many qualified candidates to our search for a police chief, but chief Stillman rose to the top of every aspect of the hiring process,” Horwitz said in a news release.

“In addition to his depth of professional experience and high assessment scores, I was particularly impressed with his knowledge of police procedures and policies, advanced law enforcement technology and communication and management skills. I am sure he will be well-known to our residents, civic and religious leaders and business community very quickly.”

Stillman replaces Gary Haba, who retired in July. Capt. Richard Lessick has been in charge of the department.

Stillman is a 35-year veteran of the Rocky River force.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he has been police chief since December 2010. He joined the Rocky River Police Department in October 1984. He also worked for the Cleveland Heights Police Department from June 1981 to November 1982 and for the Cleveland Police Department from November 1982 to October 1984.

During his tenure at Rocky River, Stillman implemented leadership training for all department officers; planned and evaluated the department’s transition to 12-hour shifts; initiated the first citizen’s police academy; established units in bike patrol, motorcycle patrol, neighborhood crime prevention officer, K-9, and Coffee with a Cop; obtained grants for police equipment; and built relationships and partnerships with the Rocky River Senior Center, chamber of commerce, and city council, according to the release.

“Law enforcement has seen some drastic changes over the past decades, but I am a firm believer that police must be engaged and stay engaged with the citizens we serve,” Stillman said in the release. “I truly love my chosen profession and look forward to serving the people of Beachwood and its residents, employees and visitors.”

Stillman will be sworn in at the city council meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 in Beachwood City Hall's council chambers. That will be followed by a ceremonial administration of the oath of office outside of city hall after the adjournment of the council meeting.

His annual salary is $129,614.55.

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