Veteran patrol supervisor tapped as new Middletown deputy police chief

Middletown police has a new deputy police chief.

Sgt. Eric Crank, a 24-year veteran of the department, will be promoted to major as he becomes the city’s newest deputy police chief, according to city spokeswoman Shelby Quinlivan.

The promotion was the result of the retirement of former police chief Rodney Muterspaw in October and the recent promotion of Maj. David Birk to police chief.

Crank’s new annual salary will be $85,687, according to Quinlivan.

A member of the Division of Police since November 1995, Crank was one of five sergeants who passed an assessment center evaluation on Nov. 9-10 who were considered for the promotion. Other candidates competing for the promotion were Sgts. Steve Ream, Cris Kelly, Earl Nelson and Malcolm Tipton.

Crank, 53, was promoted to sergeant in 2009 and has served as a patrol supervisor and member of the Honor Guard.

He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and attended Eastern Michigan University. Crank is also a graduate of the Southern Police Institute.

A resident of Middletown, he is married and has two children.

Crank was unavailable for comment for this story. Birk said a pinning ceremony will be held for Crank during the Feb. 4 meeting of Middletown City Council.

Birk said Crank stood out from the rest of the candidates during panel discussion as he shared his vision for combining code enforcement, traffic and community oriented policing into one unit that could have a major impact on the Division of Police and the entire city.

“He’ll bring new energy and has thought through his plan which is similar with my vision for the department,” Birk said. “I think he’s a leader with the officers.”

He said Crank was key in developing Middletown’s community oriented policing program and was instrumental the last time the Division of Police received national accreditation. The city was last accredited in 2011 and Birk said he’s in the “initial phases” of seeking accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies.

As deputy chief, Crank will oversee code enforcement, records, community social events and other administrative tasks, Birk said. He said another deputy chief, Maj. Andy Warrick, will oversee patrol and training. The other deputy chiefs, Majs. Leanne Hood and Scott Reeve, will continue in their assignments with Hood overseeing the jail and Reeve overseeing criminal investigation.

He said the city is exploring some federal grants to reinstate its community-oriented policing program to get more officers on the streets.

Birk said there are six to eight patrol officers who are interested in taking the sergeant’s written exam on March 17 which is more than what he expected. Those who pass the written test will then go through the assessment center evaluation on April 18-19. That person will fill Crank’s former slot as a sergeant.

The department has three patrol officer openings, and Birk thinks there may be more with some anticipated retirements later this year.

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