Amherst officer among candidates for Oberlin police chief

By Laurie Hamame -

Road patrol officer Michael Failing is a finalist in the search for a new Oberlin police chief.

A part-time Amherst patrolman since 2008, he is one of seven under consideration for the Oberlin job.

Other candidates are Michael McCloskey, Oberlin PD; Victor Ortiz, Oberlin PD; Clarence Warfield, Elyria PD; Richard Hardy, Grove City PD; Robert Gonzalez, Eastlake PD; and Michael Kranz, Springfield PD.

McCloskey has served as interim chief since December, when Juan Torres resigned from the post after only a short tenure.

City manager Rob Hillard said he plans to hire a permanent chief by the end of the summer.

Failing has been a supervising lieutenant of the Lorain police department since 1994.

His resume said he is “recognized as an organized self-starter with proven success in analyzing criminal patterns and developing effective investigative strategies positively impacting crime reduction.”

Failing is also an officer in the Ohio peace officer training academy, a member of the Lorain County drunk driving task force, and hostage negotiating team. He takes part in internal affairs and gang crime investigations, safety awareness programs, community policing, and has completed crisis intervention training for people who have mental illness.

He is responsible for all new major initiatives and has developed both a crime analyst program and a community street crimes unit, leading to a reduction of incidents in major crime areas in Lorain.

Failing has also led neighborhood discussions about specific crime data and prevention methods, working with the Urban League, NAACP, Lorain schools, and El Centro, where bilingual health services are provided to the Latino community.

Joining the Amherst force in 2008 as a second job, Failing said he intended to “gain additional law enforcement experience of policing in a smaller, non-minority community.”

Failing’s military experience includes the Ohio National Guard from 1994 to 2002. He graduated with his bachelor’s and master’s in criminal justice from Tiffin University.

Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.

By Laurie Hamame