ABERDEEN, Ohio – Fred Hampton has resigned his position as Aberdeen Police Chief, according to Mayor Jason Phillips.
According to Phillips, Hampton received a police officer offer from Health Systems, the largest system of hospitals in Southern Ohio.
“After careful consideration, I realized the opportunity is too exciting for me to decline,” Hampton said in a resignation letter. “It has been a pleasure working with members of the village council for the past two years.”
Hampton said there were too many positives about his time with Aberdeen to name.
“To work with a mayor who honestly cares and is concerned for the citizens of the village has been amazing,” Hampton said. “The village is poised for continued growth, and I wish you much success with your upcoming projects and programs.”
Hampton said he would help recruit and train his replacement.
“Thank you for the opportunity to work for the village of Aberdeen and become part of the community,” Hampton said. “I wish the members of council the best and I look forward to staying in touch with you.”
Phillips said that Hampton did well while he was here, even though he had to put up with a lot in his time as police chief.
Hampton, who served six years in the U.S. Marine Corps and 19 years as a member of the Hillsboro, Ohio police, started working for the village in 2016.
Phillips said that Hampton was one of the best guys you could ever meet and that he would do anything for anyone, but said he is looking for someone who will be a more forceful chief.
“I think he (Hampton) was one of those who wanted to sit back,” Phillips said. “but over these two years, he’s done well. He has changed the phase of our police department. But was he really aggressive? No. But he was a people person and he was very good at working with people.”
Hampton’s resignation leaves the village with two full-time police officers. He said the village is actively seeking a new chief.
“We’ve got two officers trying to cover 24 hours,” Phillips said. “It’s impossible to do any way you look at it.”
Phillips said there are currently four applicants for the chief position. He said he is giving all of them thought, but is leaning toward one applicant in particular.
“He would go after it,” Phillips said. “If I’ve got an officer going out there to get drugs, I want the chief to be a part of that. I think one of these candidates would do that. I know what he is about.”
Phillips said that the candidate is from the local area.
“Regardless of who we put in there, we will have our doubters and people who will be digging up bones,” Phillips said.
According to Phillips, Officer Eugene Longo is currently serving as acting chief.
“I took Eugene off to the side and told him I could put him in as chief, but that he wasn’t ready,” Phillips said. “All I’d be doing is setting you up for failure because you don’t have enough experience.”
Phillips said he didn’t feel it would be fair to him to put him in a position like that.
“He and I had that talk and he wasn’t comfortable with it and I wasn’t comfortable putting him in that position,” Phillips said. “But we’ll get a chief. We’ll get a good chief.