The Macedonia Police Department was established in 1905. Records from that period indicate that the first Village Marshal – a part-time position – was H.A. Hawley. Marshal Hawley was paid $25.00 per year for his services and the Village council provided him with a badge and “modern” handcuffs. Unfortunately, Marshal Hawley died in 1906, but Henry James replaced him and held the Marshal position until 1908.
Over the next two decades, numerous individuals held the position of Marshal. Records indicate that the job apparently lost its appeal rather quickly, as several of these men abandoned their duties after very little time – one after only three weeks! All of these men were still classified as part-time, but they were compensated for the use of their telephones.
The Village of Macedonia began to change dramatically during these years. Horse paths became gravel roads, sidewalks were installed, and the A.B.C. Line – a “fast” electric streetcar operation connecting Akron, Bedford and Cleveland – made it easy for the large influx of new residents to travel to their jobs in the larger cities. The little village began to acquire its reputation as being “The Crossroads of the Western Reserve” at this time, as it was difficult for one to travel the area and not be forced through the center of town, or cross a Village boundary.
Demographics are traditionally reflected in any town’s police department and Macedonia was no exception. The rise in population and the increase in transients necessitated the addition of personnel, and Village Council, in 1923, appointed six Deputies to assist Marshall C.B. “Pat” Griswald with his duties. Council also passed ordinances providing each Deputy with a badge and handcuffs, (“at a price not to exceed $2.50?), and gave permission for the Marshal and his men to carry firearms.
The revolutions in transportation and the greater numbers of people seen after the turn of the century prompted Council to enact and pass a number of additional laws designed to protect persons and property. One of the more humorous of these was the prohibited use of sidewalks by horses and livestock. The new roads required regulations as well, and signs were posted limiting village speeds to 20 MPH. Traffic fines were stiff – at a $5.00 maximum – and the Marshal and his Deputies were kept busy with calls for peace keeping and law enforcement.
Floyd V. McRitchie was appointed the first full-time Marshal on December 13, 1927. Village Council set the Marshal’s salary at $200.00 per month, but agreed to pay him for the use of his own car while he was on duty. Floyd’s Deputies were similarly compensated, but were directed, by Council, to only use their automobiles during dire emergencies.
The Great Depression brought about drastic changes to the Police Department, and Village as well. By 1934, Floyd’s duties had been expanded by Council to include all coordination and administration of relief to the poor, serving as a “school pilot” (a crossing guard), and as janitor and custodian to the Fire Department building. The lack of Village Records, especially from late 1935 though the summer of 1937, indicates that the Village had fallen onto hard times as well. In a state of financial ruin, the Village returned to Township status, surrendering the corporate powers on August 31, 1937. The Police Department was returned to part-time service on January 17, 1938 and had only two members who were given the title “Police Constable.”
A number of men filled the Police Constable’s position over the next 15 years. Much of this turnover can be attributed to the war effort, as many young men were eager to fight in Europe and the Pacific. The boom era following World War II also helped to pry men from the ranks, as high paying jobs were plentiful.
By the early 1950s, Macedonia Township was beginning to take the shape of the City we recognize today. The population was increasing steadily and housing developments began to spring up in the areas that had once been farmers’ fields. Businesses and industries saw tremendous potential here and flocked to build. Life was good and our community prospered.
For the first time in years, state and county resources were available to improve roads. The old A.B.C. Line, which had lay in idle since 1932, sprang to life again as crews began turning the abandoned track and its right of way into a new, four lane, divided highway for automobile traffic. “State Route 8? as it is still called today, opened to vehicular traffic in 1955.
The Police Constables were still responsible for enforcing laws and keeping the peace throughout the 1950s. Working out of “Old Post One” of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office in Northampton Township, Ray Walls and Floyd V. “Pete” McRitchie Jr., (son of Marshall McRitchie), were responsible for the protection of Northern Summit County. They handled calls from Stow Township and Cuyahoga Falls as well as Northampton and Macedonia. This was done in an effort by the various communities to form a “Tri-Township” Police Department.
In March 1956 the Macedonia Township Trustees voted to withdraw from the “Tri-Township” Department concept, and form their own Department. The Constables were ordered to work five nights per week, and by 1959 there were four men in the ranks, with Constable McRitchie being named as their full-time Chief.
On June 12, 1962 the Township of Macedonia reincorporated and returned to “Village” status. This date, too, was significant, as the Constables became Village Policeman and “Pete,” as he is known and loved, was named the First Chief of Police. While Macedonia was still a relatively small town, the population continued to grow and the new Police Department provided a valuable service. The Department began to grow as well, and Chief McRitchie was instrumental in forming the Police Department that we recognize today.
The Macedonia Police Department became well known throughout Summit County for its professionalism, and the personnel that the City hired during the turbulent years of the 1960s and ’70s were masters of their craft. Chief McRitchie, his sergeants, and their men rapidly gained a reputation for their fair and swift administration of justice. The will to be just and the courage to be human became the Department’s anchor, and these men were widely known for their kindness, dedication, and attention to detail.
These ideals carried on throughout the 1980s and ’90s under the administrations of Chiefs Acheson and Popovich. High standards and expectations continued to be the “norm” and it was during this period that the Department largely grew into what one sees today. Many of the, now, “old timers” are fortunate to have worked with many of the retirees and carry on the tradition of excellence which has become our marque; we strive for efficiency, courtesy, and providing our community with the service they expect – and deserve.
The upstanding young men who have come into our ranks are among the finest in the area. Raw intelligence, higher education and physical ability are the standard and there is a strong sense of duty, honor, and courage that pervades our Department.
In February 2002 the Civil Service Commission for the City of Macedonia appointed Jon Golden to the rank of Chief following a rigorous testing procedure. This appointment came only three and one half years after his promotion to Sergeant in June 1998. Jon, the youngest Chief in the Department’s history, brings to his new position a zeal unsurpassed by few of his peers. He has already taken major steps to replace outdated equipment, institute a variety of community-based programs, and has made monumental strides in the area of labor/management relations.
On September 1, 2002 Chief Golden instituted a 12-hour shift schedule. As opposed to the traditional practice of making officers rotate, against the clock, on a three-week basis, the new shift features a permanent shift assignment. The officers benefit from this as they are now able to spend more time with their families and enjoy a more stable and healthier lifestyle. Ironically, there are more officers on the road at any given time than ever before at no greater cost to the taxpayer. While the workday may seem long, the officers have found that they actually feel better rested and “energized” and are more productive than ever.
A Community Policing Program has also been established by Chief Golden. Focusing on public safety awareness issues such as Child Safety and Neighborhood Watch, the program encourages officer involvement with residents and local business people. It is not uncommon to see an officer strolling The Commons or chatting with residents in their driveways. The Officers are always looking for opportunities to positively interact and share their knowledge of public safety with the community.
Equipment upgrades and computer system installations have been a high priority of Chief Golden’s. Since his appointment, the Chief has installed a comprehensive computer system which includes computer aided dispatch, records system and jail booking interface. Police cruisers also have mobile data terminals enabling officers to access BMV files while patrolling the streets. Officers are also able to complete reports while parked allowing them greater visibility to the public. This system provides fast and efficient reporting and information gathering. The capabilities of this system are nothing short of amazing and will enable the Officers and Dispatchers to serve the public with the utmost efficiency.
The Macedonia Police Department shares the new City Center with the Fire Department and all of the administrative offices. This building was erected in 1997 and also encompasses a state-of-the-art jail facility. Overseen by Jail Administrator Sergeant Doug Slanina, this unit features large, bright prisoner recreation areas and living quarters of advanced design. It has the capability of housing a moderate number of male and female inmates for extended periods of time under close supervision. These factors greatly enhance the patrol officer’s effectiveness and are greatly appealing to outside agencies and communities housing prisoners in a healthy environment at a moderate cost.
The Macedonia Police Department has a full-time dispatching staff with modern communications equipment. Providing dispatching services to the Village of Boston Heights Police and Fire, Macedonia Police and Fire as well as Northfield Village Police and Fire. It is a hub of activity that features an enhanced 9-1-1 telephone system and a repeater-equipped high band radio. Much like “caller ID,” enhanced 9-1-1 provides the name, address, phone number of the caller as well as the latitude and longitude which is sent to the mapping system. The call is then pin pointed on a map, and can be refreshed if the caller is mobile. This is especially beneficial to those seeking help or assistance and are unfamiliar with area or unable to talk. This is further enhanced by an integral TDD machine for the hearing impaired. Hardly a job for the faint of heart or those lacking patience, the Dispatchers are often expected to acquire a vast amount of information in a very short period of time. Courtesy and efficiency are paramount.
The Dispatchers do a great job and are always looking forward
to offering you assistance. Their jobs are critical to life-death situations.
We applaud their efforts in all that they do for our communities.
Chief Golden heads the Department’s 19 sworn officers. The Police Department provides protection to the City’s population of over 10,000 in an area of just under 13 square miles. The Department has 10 marked and 6 unmarked cruisers, and a full-time Detective Bureau.
The members of Macedonia Police are appointed under the City’s Civil Service Commission. Information about the hiring of full-time patrol officers can be obtained from the Civil Service Commission, located in the administration building, at 9691 Valley View Road, Macedonia, Ohio, 44056. The City of Macedonia Police Department is an equal opportunity employer, and welcomes all qualified applicants.
It is our mission, through the spirit and color of law,
to proudly serve the citizens of our great City
and provide them with a safe and secure environment
in which they can live in peace.
We are grateful for the trust which has been bestowed upon us
and are dedicated to expressing our gratitude through commitment, perseverance and exemplary behavior.
We are the Macedonia Police Department
Historical research- Sgt. K.R. Turley
Text- Ptl. M..J. Burda
While researching the Department’s history, Sgt. K.R. Turley obtained information about the style of badge that would have been fashionable during the early 1900s and found to be most common among the village and city marshals in the Summit County area at that time. The popular 1905 Marshal’s badge was a beautiful, five-point star adorned with an oak leaf wreath and topped with an eagle. It was a special order badge that cost a whopping $3.00 – a hefty sum at that time.
In 2000, retired Chief McRitchie loaned Sgt. Turley his father’s, (Floyd V. Sr.), badge for reproduction purposes. This single reproduction cost Sgt. Turley $60.00, but it is a prized piece in his collection of police memorabilia. The shield is gold plated and topped with an eagle and is representative of the badges prevalent during the 1920s.