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County makes offer on police chief post

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LAPD > Sgambellone and family are visiting in Los Alamos

By The Staff

County Administrator Harry Burgess announced Thursday that he has extended an offer to Dino Sgambellone to be the next Police Chief of Los Alamos County.

“We had an excellent pool of candidates,” Burgess said, “All five of the top candidates who were in Los Alamos two weeks ago for interviews were well-qualified to be the next police chief.”

Burgess said he intends to finalize the offer within the next few days. The next step would be county council approval of the candidate, possibly as soon as the upcoming meeting on Tuesday night. Sgambellone met with the management team of the police department earlier this morning.

“Dino is here with his family visiting Los Alamos, exploring our community as they carefully consider this opportunity,” said Burgess. He asked that local media respect the Sgambellone family’s privacy as they weigh their decision.

“I know that residents are anxious to hear this news — the police chief is an active and important member of our community — and I hope to be able to make an announcement very soon,” Burgess said.

Other candidates who interviewed for the top cop slot included Roy Melnick, Donnie Perry, Bill Press and Philip Smith.

The county began its search earlier this year for a new chief, shortly after LAPD Chief Wayne Torpy announced his retirement. Torpy, 56 at the time, had a heart attack and a stroke in November, and returned to the job briefly before announcing his retirement.

In a profile published by the Los Alamos Monitor last month, Sgambellone 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.

The 44-year-old 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 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 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.”