HOBART | Police Chief Rick Zormier recognizes there have been some issues this past year that have given the department a black eye.
Zormier, named Hobart police chief by Mayor Brian Snedecor on March 1, is ready to move on.
"As a whole, we let ourselves down and the public down. Those things are in the past, and we are moving forward to make sure they don't happen again, " Zormier said.
The department's issues include removing a Hobart police officer, pending a court hearing, charged earlier this year with felony counts of fraud and theft.
In addition, four Hobart officers received suspensions without pay last year after the Board of Works ruled there had been an "inappropriate relationship" with a local towing company.
Zormier, the fourth police chief named by Snedecor since he became mayor in 2008, said he's also aware of public comments that place some of the blame on the mayor.
"The mayor, having served as past police chief, has been accused of micromanaging the department," Zormier said.
That's not the case, he said.
"Anyone who accuses the mayor of micromanaging as the cause is not informed. Those were police issues and not City Hall issues," Zormier said.
Zormier, 42, started his law enforcement career with the Lake Station Police Department in 1991. He began his service with the Hobart Police Department in 1993.
He has a criminal justice degree from Indiana University Northwest and a law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law.
Zormier recently announced a streamlined administration which includes the naming of two new deputy chiefs: Capt. Paul Oliver, 36, who will oversee patrol services, and Capt. Garrett Ciszewski, 33, who will oversee administrative services.
The streamlined approach will mean freeing up four more officers.
"My goal is to have more officers out there doing police work and less clerical work," Zormier said. "My philosophy is the only way to best serve the public is to have police doing police work."
The department's force is at 56, and Zormier hopes to add two more officers within the next three years.
Police, under his leadership, will be taking part in community forums planned for April and initiating an athletic league involving other city departments.
Zormier said he wants the community to know police are there to serve and protect residents.
"We're human and we need to show the public that human side. We're not blue monsters," Zormier said.
He's asking residents with either complaints or compliments to contact the department.