Chief prospects discuss careers

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Dino Sgambellone > Has operated with limited resources

By Arin McKenna

Fifth and final in a series

Police chief candidate Dino Sgambellone, 44, is adept at running a complex department with a severely restricted budget. He sees Los Alamos County’s fiscal situation as a much smaller challenge than what he has faced as chief of police for the City of Mansfield, Ohio, since 2010.

“I would be coming from a community that is in fiscal emergency, and we don’t have a lot of resources. It’s challenging, and I’ve gotten great experience, but I’m eligible to retire from there, and it’s just time for the next chapter,” Sgambellone said.

Sgambellone has succeeded in reducing crime rates despite being at 70 percent of his authorized sworn strength and 46 percent of his authorized non-sworn strength. He came in more than two percent under budget in 2011 and 2012.

Despite budget limitations, Sgambellone said the department is complex and includes a state-of-the-art nationally accredited crime lab.

“I would put our crime lab up against any big city,” Sgambellone said.

“I think we do a good job, but it is challenge. It’s given me a lot of good experience in terms of managing with limited resources,” Sgambellone said. “I touch a lot of areas within the department that the chief wouldn’t traditionally do. But that has given me a solid background and foundation in a wide variety of areas of policing.”

Those non-traditional areas include being hands on in the accreditation process and developing skills in grant writing and management, something he is currently teaching to some of his officers.

Sgambellone is also mentoring officers in crime analysis and intelligence-led policing, something he was instrumental in introducing and developing before he became chief. Sgambellone has served in the department since 1991.

Sgambellone has also served on the METRICH Task Force since 2005, first as commander and since 2010 as project director. METRICH is the largest decentralized task force in Ohio, serving nearly 600,000 residents in 10 counties with over 40 participating agencies.

“To make that work, I coordinate from sheriffs and chiefs from all 10 counties as well as multiple partners at the state and federal level,” Sgambellone said.

Sgambellone’s resume states that nearly all five of METRICH’s 2011 and 2012 objectives were exceeded by 19- to 184-percent. He also collaborates with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in conspiracy and Title III investigations and has a secret security clearance.

Sgambellone serves as adjunct faculty for Devry University’s Criminal Justice program.

Sgambellone’s accomplishments as police chief include structuring a workplace that “fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.” Sgambellone likes what he sees in the Los Alamos and its police department.

“They seem to be a fairly modern department and they have a low crime rate, and they seem to be good partners within the community. And those are all important things to me in how I like to manage here and I think it would be a relatively seamless transition,” Sgambellone said.

“I’m family driven, so I discussed this with my wife and children, and we’ve all agreed. Los Alamos seems to be a family-oriented community, a good place to work and live and raise a family.”