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Local Medina County News

Medina police chief steps down

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    Patrick Berarducci

    GAZETTE FILE

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MEDINA — Police Chief Patrick Berarducci has told his colleagues on the Medina force that Wednesday will be his last day on the job.

The chief sent an electronic message to the department Saturday.

Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell confirmed the news in an interview Sunday with The Gazette.

Hanwell said he had received notice from Berarducci via email Sunday afternoon.

Berarducci released the following in a statement Sunday night: “I am so thankful for my time as Medina police chief. My wife and I have lived in Medina for more than 30 years. We raised our family here. It was a dream come true to serve as Medina’s chief of police. It is certainly difficult to walk away, but this isn’t necessarily goodbye and I am excited to begin the next chapter of my life.”

Lt. Dave Birckbichler has been serving as acting chief since November when Berarducci went on medical leave.

Hanwell said Birckbichler will continue to serve as acting chief until a chief’s test to fill the vacancy is approved, completed and a replacement is selected.

“We only have one person in the lieutenant position, so we will open it up to sergeants, who have been in the position for two years, to test also,” he said. “We have to have at least three people to test.”

Hanwell said it would be “premature” to say whether the city will look to promote within the department or search for candidates outside the community.

“Until I get a formal resignation (from Berarducci), then I’ll determine those factors,” he said.

Berarducci was appointed chief in August 2009 after serving 2ᄑ years as police chief in Boardman.

During his tenure, Berarducci said in his released statement Sunday, Medina police were among the first to carry lifesaving equipment such as defibrillators, combat treatment for gunshot wounds and naloxone for opioid overdoses. He also said Medina was among the first departments to use social media in law enforcement.

Also during his tenure, Berarducci didn’t file paperwork showing he qualified for firearms proficiency in 2009 and 2011, according to Police Department records. He was suspended a month without pay in March 2012 after making an obscene gesture during a meeting with dispatchers. And in April 2013, Berarducci missed about two weeks of work after accidentally shooting himself in the leg. He was not charged or disciplined after the shooting.

He worked more than 29 years with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and its predecessor, the U.S. Treasury Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Berarducci is a past honoree of the Treasury Department’s Medal of Valor for heroism and bravery.

He started his law enforcement career with the Youngstown Police Department in 1974 and with the ATF as a special agent in 1978, assigned to the Cleveland office. His work has included the investigation of federal firearms, explosives and arson violations.

Berarducci resides in Medina with his wife, Judy.

Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or hheironimus@medina-gazette.com.



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