The new chief in town

Plain City Police Chief Dale McKee settles into his new office after being appointed to the position last week.

Recently-appointed Plain City Police Chief Dale McKee has been with Plain City since the beginning.

“It all started here,” McKee said.

Starting as an auxiliary (volunteer) officer in 1996, McKee became a part-time officer the same year, before being bumped to full-time two years later and to sergeant in 2004.

Now he’s at the top.

“It’s just been very busy,” McKee said.

The chief is currently fulfilling his duties as sergeant and chief simultaneously while the department looks for a replacement sergeant. He was appointed as chief last week, following the departure of former chief Jim Hill in May.

And McKee said he doesn’t plan on going anywhere.

“My goal is to retire as the chief,” he said.

McKee said he hopes to bring his knowledge and experience to the table and work with local department heads and village officials frequently.

Over the years, the chief has been heavily involved in Click it or Ticket, a seat belt enforcement campaign. He was the only Ohio officer selected to participate in a 2012 conference in Washington, D.C.

Recently, McKee has taken on the role of “Mr. Click it or Ticket,” a role that is exclusively his. In his office hangs a white suit and hat with the movement’s logo displayed up and down the sleeves.

He said his involvement with the campaign has gained the department free equipment.

As chief, McKee wants to serve as a mentor for the other officers in the department, like he was mentored by Hill. He hopes one will take his place someday.

“All the guys that I work with are like family,” McKee said.

All in all, McKee hopes to make the village even better one than the one he began serving in 1996.

“(I hope to) make this a better place in general.”

Brandon Semler can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1615 or via Twitter @BrandonSemler.