At a community announcement event held on Thursday, July 21, Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler announced the provisional appointment of Gary D. Lewis Jr. as Bexley’s new Chief of Police and Director of Special Projects.
I am incredibly excited to announce Chief Gary Lewis as the next chief of police for the City of Bexley,” said Mayor Ben Kessler. “After taking the time to engage deeply with our community on what they wanted to see in our next chief, we set out on a national search. We were looking for a chief of police with a track record of equitable and service-oriented policing, who could command the respect of officers and earn the community’s trust, act as a bridge between our department and all of the many communities we serve, and who could bring innovative and fresh thinking to community policing. Chief Lewis is that Chief. He brings an impressive amount of experience, insight, and ingenuity into this role, and I can’t wait to see how he leads and elevates our agency in the coming years.Mayor Ben Kessler
Chief Lewis brings a wealth of knowledge and diverse leadership experience in policing, emergency management, operational oversight, and communications. Chief Lewis currently serves as the Chief of Police and Assistant Vice President of Operations at the University of Louisville, providing administrative leadership and operational management for various departments. The daily functions of this position included implementation and maintenance of a Campus Security Master Plan and the enforcement of campus security rules and regulations to meet federal guidelines. Prior to his work in Louisville, Lewis served as the Chief of Police at Cleveland State University and prior to that, he spent 22 years with the Ohio State Highway Patrol as a Commander where he retired in 2013. During his tenure, Lewis also served as the Division’s Public Information Officer and handled crisis communications, media, marketing, public records and information, and statewide communications.
The appointment of Chief Lewis comes after an extensive six-month national search through the firm Ralph Andersen and Associates, which resulted in 21 applicants, eight semi-finalists, and four finalists. The Saunders PR Group aided the City in stakeholder engagement by conducting 15 community focus groups, two community-wide public workshops, and one town hall with final candidates. These outreach efforts culminated in a candidate profile that outlined the desired characteristics of the city’s new police chief. The interview committee that assisted the Mayor in interviewing candidates and selecting the final candidate included Tiffany Hunt (Citizen Review Board), Rachael Laing (Civil Service Commission), Lee Nathans (Civil Service Commission), John Offenberg (Civil Service Commission), and City Council members Monique Lampke, Sam Marcellino, and President Troy Markham.
I am extremely humbled and honored to be Bexley’s next chief of police. I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank the Mayor, City Council, and all of the citizens that have contributed to what this will look like. I am eager to meet with community members, listen, and lead with compassion.Chief Lewis
Lewis holds a Master’s degree in criminal justice from Michigan State University, a Bachelor’s degree in public safety management from Franklin University, an Associate’s degree in visual communications from Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and is a 2003 FBI National Academy graduate. He is married to wife Krysta, and the proud father of five children, Cameron, Gary III, Nathanael, Ross, who are all proudly serving in the United States armed forces, and his daughter Ivy.
Lewis would succeed Chief Larry Rinehart, who served as Chief for 14 years and retired earlier this year. The next step in the appointment process is for Chief Lewis to receive Council confirmation of his appointment. After successful confirmation, Chief Lewis is scheduled to take the position of chief starting September 1, 2022.