Chief searches narrowed to 14 applicants


Nearly 100 applicants have put in for soon-to-be-vacated Oberlin police and fire chief positions.

More than half of those job-seekers are from within Ohio but others applied from as far away as San Diego for the top Oberlin safety forces spots.

“I think our departments both have good reputations,” said city manager Eric Norenberg, who was thrilled to have so many people interested in the positions. “I think the word is out that this is the place to work and that was reflected in the candidate poll.”

The chief searches have been narrowed to six fire candidates and eight police candidates.

Norenberg and members from The Novak Consulting Group are conducting interviews this week with the finalists.

Councilman Ronnie Rimbert said it speaks volumes that the city has three internal candidates out of 50 applicants in the final round of interviews.

The six people being interviewed for the fire chief position are:

• Geoffrey Cleveland has been the fire chief for Ravenna since 2006 and was a lieutenant for the city of Cleveland and the city of East Cleveland for 10 years.

• Robert Hanmer has been Oberlin’s battalion chief since 1995 and a lieutenant for Carlisle Township since 2001.

• Lou Ann Metz has been the division chief for Stow since 2007 and was a captain, lieutenant, and firefighter for 17 years with Stow.

• Rudy Ruiz has been the chief for Bedford Township, Mich. since 2014 and previously was a fire marshal, firefighter, and paramedic for the city of Sandusky for 23 years.

• Robert Schubert has been a firefighter and driver for Oberlin since 2004 and worked as a part-time firefighter for the department for 17 years.

• Michael Streator has been Oberlin’s fire lieutenant since 1995, a firefighter since 1991, and a paramedic for the last 15 years.

The eight officers being interviewed for the police chief position are:

• Kenneth Klamar has been the chief for Perkins Township since 1995 and a police academy instructor since 2000.

• Michael McCloskey has been Oberlin’s administrative lieutenant since 2009 and has been a sergeant and patrol officer with the city.

• Victor Oritz has been Oberlin’s sergeant since 2010 and the leader of the Lorain County SWAT team for the last 15 years.

• Scott Pavlik has been chief for Clayton Township, Mich., for the last two years and previously was captain for five years in Warren, Mich.

• Kevin Scalli has been a lieutenant for Oberlin since 1990 and an Amherst firefighter for the last 15 years.

• Craig Schwartz has been the deputy chief for Detroit, Mich., for the last five years and previously was chief for two years with Huron Potawatomi police department in Michigan.

• Juan Torres has been the captain for the patrol operations bureau in Alexandra, Va., for a year and has worked as a lieutenant, sergeant, patrol officer, deputy sheriff, and K-9 officer.

• Larry Wilson has been the chief of animal control officer for Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia since 2013 and has worked as deputy chief, captain, lieutenant, sergeant, and officer for Suffolk, Va.

New chiefs are expected to be hired by the end of the month.

Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.