The first police chief for the Village of Eastlake was Richard Taylor. He started as chief in 1949, working for no pay and using his own car to patrol the village streets.
The village officially became a city in 1955. Chief Taylor and his part-time policemen worked out of the first police station, a small building at the intersections of Roberts Road, Beachpark, and Lakeshore Boulevard. The police station consisted of a small room that contained a desk, two chairs, and two file cabinets. The rest of the building was the city hall and clerk’s office. The building later became Steve’s Barbershop.
The second police station was a little larger room in a concrete building that also was used as the city hall and clerk’s office. This station had its first prison holding cell, a steel cage constructed in a section of the Hinkle service garage. The location of this building was known as the Hinkle Block and it is located across from the Subway shop on Lakeshore Boulevard.
The third police station and city hall was the Albrecht estate that the city purchased in 1956. The police station was remodeled by members of the department from the original kitchen area and pantry to include a chief’s office, two supervisors’ offices, a dispatching area, jail cell, visitors’ area, and a locker room in the basement. The department had eight regular patrolmen, 15 part-time officers, and several auxiliaries. Also during this period, a second police care was purchased. The police cars were station wagons with a gurney in the back and an oxygen tank and mask. The reason for this type of police vehicle was that the police department not only patrolled the city, investigated crimes, but also served as an ambulance for any injuries or illnesses of the public.
Interim chiefs from the tenure of Chief Taylor were Lieutenant Glen (Poppy) Wise, Patrolman Lloyd Sawyer, Sergeant Daniel Daugherty, and Lieutenant Eugene Sydlow.
The next four police chiefs were David Daugherty (appointed November 1961), Wilson Kelly (July 1967), William J. DePledge (1972) and David Gary Fink (1989). The sixth and present chief is John R. Ruth, who was appointed on May 5, 1995. Chief Ruth has created many new programs and innovations such as the juvenile diversion program, a sub-station in the city, and opportunities for boys and girls in the city through our P.A.L. program, including a P.A.L. center with fully staffed personnel.