Today is the last day on the job for Cincinnati Police Chief Thomas Streicher Jr. During his rocky 12-year tenure, the department has endured rioting sparked by a police shooting, costly lawsuit settlements, oversight by a federal court and a police slowdown that precipitated a spike in crime.
Quite a record.
A private reception for friends and co-workers was held this morning at District 1 headquarters in the West End to commemorate the chief's retirement. Also, a roast was held Saturday at the Hyatt Regency downtown, where the featured speakers included Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis Jr., County Prosecutor Joe Deters and pizza entrepreneur Donald “Buddy” LaRosa.
Rather than looking back on Streicher's almost 40-year career in law enforcement, we thought we'd examine what might lie ahead for the newly retired Green Township resident.
Political observers and some of Streicher's associates have speculated he might run for sheriff in 2012. At age 77 now, it's highly unlikely that Leis will seek a seventh term. That might explain why Streicher didn't come out publicly against a recent proposal for the Sheriff's Office to take over policing within city limits, unlike some others connected to the department.
Others who know Streicher say he is a candidate to become head of security for Horseshoe Casino at Broadway Commons, when the $400 million project opens in late 2012.
In December, when City Council was pondering budget cuts to avoid a $54 million deficit — which included a plan to layoff more than 100 cops — Streicher approved sending 11 of his personnel for casino security training for five days in Las Vegas. The trip cost taxpayers nearly $9,500. Some critics said the trip's timing was bad, given the fiscal crisis City Hall was facing and questioned why the officers couldn't get training at much closer casinos in southern Indiana.
Eleven people were sent on the excursion. They were Capt. Theresa Theetge; Sgt. Brian Bender; Sgt. Art Schultz; Police Specialists Chris Campo, Gary Fangman and Nate Young; and Officers Adarryl Birch, Dan Brockman, Colleen Deegan, Carrie Heuser and Ken Vanderpool.
Deegan was one of the stars of Police Women of Cincinnati, a reality TV series this winter on the TLC cable network.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department conducted the training. Here's the description on the paperwork submitted requesting the trip, which was signed off by Streicher: “LVMPD is compiling a training seminar tailored specifically for our agency. The training will focus on the influences a casino has on the following topics — vice activities, narcotics, organized crime and motorcycle groups. Additionally, LVMPD will include a session presented with Harrah's corporate personnel on how they work cooperatively with local law enforcement.”
If Streicher does become employed by the casino, it will be interesting to see whether any of the trainees are hired on his staff.