Browder sworn in as acting chief of HPD


Photo: Hillsboro Mayor Drew Hastings, right, administers the oath of office Tuesday to Sgt. Steve Browder as Browder officially becomes acting chief of the Hillsboro Police Department.

By Gary Abernathy – [email protected]

Longtime Hillsboro police Sgt. Steve Browder was officially sworn in as acting chief of the Hillsboro Police Department on Tuesday by Mayor Drew Hastings.

Hastings announced last month that he had decided to appoint Browder to the position.

Browder joined HPD in 2000, and served for five years before that with the Greenfield Police Department. Browder also previously served as team leader of the Hillsboro-Greenfield Joint Strategic Response Team.

The appointment came after the resignation last month of Todd Whited as police chief. Since then, Hastings said Browder had stepped up to handle scheduling and other day-to-day matters, and he is confident that Browder will lead the department effectively until a new chief is chosen.

Hastings said he discussed the position with “a couple of officers within the department before I arrived at that decision.”

Browder said at the time that everyone with the police department will keep “doing their best at working together” with the mayor’s office, which “makes it tremendously easier for the department to do a good job” on behalf of the community.

Hastings said Tuesday, “There are already established routes in place to getting a new chief. We’re happy with the interim position right now and we want to take our time and do it right for the long term.”

When Whited was named chief in 2014, it followed a testing process that involved five candidates from within the department. Elements of the testing and factors considered in making the decision included a psychological exam, education and training, longevity and other components.

Whited resigned in early December, about a month after Hastings was acquitted of charges based on an investigation that the chief had initiated when he handed evidence to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office to pursue.

Whited wrote in his resignation letter that he could no longer work with Hastings. He also sent an email to city council members revisiting the issues that had been the basis of the mayor’s trial.

Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.

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