|By Valerie Stokley
Ernie Howard, Monroe's Chief of Police, has been with the Monroe Police Department since 1990. Being a police officer in September of 1961 for Middletown Police Department and retiring as a Deputy Chief, Ernie was already experienced with this line of duty.
When Chief Howard started as the first full time officer, there were thirty-two part time officers. Ernie remembers in 1995 the hiring of the first full time Sergeant and Captain. Chief Howard states, by the end of this November the department will have a total of sixteen full time officers.
In 1990 the Police Department was located on the corner of Main Street in a small, white building. In 1992 they moved from this little building into a leased facility on Lebanon Street. Since the rapid growth of this city, the Monroe Police Department has also grown. They expanded from being in a little white building to their own facility, with electronic keys that secure the building, which also has two holding cells for the officers' own safety.
The Monroe's Police Department protects the entire city of Monroe. They dispatch to the city itself, the Monroe Fire Department, and EMS. Along with the work they do here, they also work the City Fest, speak at assemblies in elementary schools (some in the Lemon Township), started a Neighborhood Watch program in '95, and have Citizens Police Academies so the public can get more involved.
With help from the Lemon Township Trustees the Monroe Police Department has been able to purchase a new laser-type speed measuring device and a substance abuse trailer. This trailer is equipped with display cases locked and filled with mock-up drugs. When this entire display is complete, it will be taken to schools and city events to let the community be more aware of what is out there.
Chief Ernie Howard told me his safety-tip to remember is, "...everybody that drives a vehicle and that's inside a vehicle should be buckled up," and remember, "...you can't be secure in your home, if you don't keep your home secure."
This article appeared on MainStreetMonroe in January 2000.
In January 2004, Chief Howard retires from the Police Force of Monroe, Ohio.
Thank you, Chief Howard for your many years of service to both Monroe and Middletown communities!