New police chief hired

Clarence “Ryan” Warfield, a sergeant with the city of Elyria, has been hired to fill the long-empty position of Oberlin police chief.

He will step in to lead the city’s police department this month.

Warfield was selected from a pool of 16 applicants for the position that became open following the resignation of former chief Juan Torres. City manager Rob Hillard made the hire.

Since 1994, Warfield has served the city of Elyria and was formerly a police academy instructor specializing in defense tactics such as krav maga.

On his resume, Warfield listed interrogation, voice analysis, body language study, youth violence training, and death scene investigations among his key accomplishments.

As a detective, he led investigations for four years on several “detailed and complicated” high-profile criminal cases. They included homicides, assaults, sex crimes, and close work with the Lorain County Drug Task Force.

“He has demonstrated a complete understanding of police training and experience and understands the unique nature and culture of Oberlin,” Hilliard said. “…I have every confidence that Ryan will provide the leadership that will be embraced by the organization and the community.”

Upon the completion of a satisfactory background check, the process will be complete.

Since late December 2016, Oberlin police Lt. Michael McCloskey has served as acting chief. He was one of the seven finalists for the job.

In listening sessions in recent months, community members, business owners, and police officers asked for a chief that would understand Oberlin’s unique culture, be sensitive to different cultures, build relationships with residents, train officers, and have a deep understanding of policing issues such as handling cases involving immigration and mental illness.

Police said they wanted someone who would provide long-term leadership and considered updating the department’s command structure.

Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.

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Clarence Warfield has been hired to lead the Oberlin police force. Warfield has been hired to lead the Oberlin police force.

Elyria police department

By Laurie Hamame