Middletown city manager picks lieutenant, sergeant to fill police administration spots

Council to vote on recommendations at May 7 meeting.

A Middletown lieutenant and sergeant have been recommended for promotion to the rank of deputy chief following civil service testing and evaluation.

Middletown City Manager Paul Lolli announced Friday he is recommending Lt. Malcolm Tipton and Sgt. Earl Nelson to the positions of deputy chief in the Middletown Division of Police.

Middletown City Council will officially vote on the promotions at its next regular meeting May 7.

“Lt. Tipton and Sgt. Nelson have served the city of Middletown and Middletown Division of Police for years with dedication and exemplary professionalism, qualities befitting of our next deputy chiefs,” Lolli said. “The city is confident in the leadership of Lt. Tipton and Sgt. Nelson within the division of police for many years to come.”

Tipton joined the Middletown Division of Police in 2008, was promoted to sergeant in 2017 and lieutenant in 2022. Nelson has been with the Middletown Division of Police since 2005, when he began as a patrol officer. Nelson was promoted to sergeant in 2017.

If approved, Tipton and Nelson would join the deputy chief ranks with Deputy Chief Andy Warrick, a longtime veteran, who is serving as acting police chief.

Warrick was named acting chief April 20 following the retirement of Acting Chief Eric Crank, who assumed the position in December when Chief David Birk was placed on administrative leave.

Testing per civil service requirements will continue in May for the chief position. Warrick, Tipton and Nelson will be eligible to test.

Middletown fire and police chiefs have to be hired from within, and contractual obligations say the ranks all the way down also have to be filled internally, Lolli said.

On March 5, Middletown City Council unanimously approved a voluntary separation agreement with Birk and the city, ending a nearly three-month paid administrative leave of the longtime officer. Birk was given an additional year’s pay as part of the agreement, but no reason given has been given for his departure after a reported internal investigation.

“Birk and council, along with its employees and agents, specifically and unequivocally deny any wrongdoing, and the parties further state that there has been no determination of wrongdoing made by any of the parties,” the separation agreement said.

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