XENIA — Dozens of co-workers, family, and friends gathered Monday to honor retiring Xenia Police Division Chief Donald “Randy” Person.
Person is stepping down after a 46-year-career and newly sworn-in chief Chris Stutes will be taking his place.
During a reception held in his honor at Nick’s Restaurant, guest speakers included Xenia City Manager Brent Merriman, Greene County Sheriff Scott Anger, Xenia Mayor Sarah Mays, Xenia Fire Chief Ken Riggsby, and Stutes.
Many accolades, gifts, and tributes were presented to Person, and there was a surprise announcement that a shooting and practice facility would be named after the retiring chief.
Person thanked his staff, dispatchers, EMTs, as well as fellow law enforcement personnel he worked with many years ago. He said he was grateful to the community for having worked with him and his department so well over the years, and he paid an emotional tribute to his family for having stood by him over the years.
“When I was a sergeant and captain with the XPD, chief Person always authorized the best training for the division,” said Anger, who was a member of the XPD before joining the Greene County Sheriff’s Office. “He always looked out for his officers.”
Stutes is no stranger to the XPD, having served there more than 20 years.
“I’ve known the new chief Chris Stutes a long time,” Anger added. “I know we’ll continue to have a great relationship and share resources within the community.”
During Person’s tenure as administrative sergeant, he was tasked with taking the XPD through its initial accreditation process through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), which the division first achieved in 1993. It has remained accredited since that time after successful re-accreditation inspections every three years since 1998, including 2010 where the XPD was recognized as both a meritorious and flagship agency for CALEA.
He also installed a computer-aided dispatch and records management system for use by the courts, police division, and fire division, developed a long-term community policing strategy which resulted in a $150,000 grant, and brought the 911 system in line with Department of Justice requirements for the deaf and hearing impaired community.
Person also created Xenia Lights at his home in 2012, investing his own resources in the display of over 250,000 lights. The display has since been relocated to Shawnee Park where travelers have viewed the 60-minute-long Christmas show which includes holiday and patriotic songs.
Person was recently awarded a resolution by Xenia City Council for his many acts of community service and his dedication and devotion to his department and community.
Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.