Police Chief Jeff White steps down as Hobart's top cop

2013-01-15T19:28:00Z 2013-01-29T14:17:35Z Police Chief Jeff White steps down as Hobart's top copBy Deborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | Hobart Police Chief Jeff White stepped down as department head effective Tuesday, Mayor Brian Snedecor said.

Snedecor denied there was any disagreement between him and White that led to the resignation.

"It was a mutual thing with Jeff and I, nothing bad. Just the feeling we needed to move into a different direction. He served very, very well and did a lot of good things," Snedecor said.

Snedecor said the resignation last week of Lt. Matt Claussen as head of the patrol division was not related to White's resignation.

"One was not involved with the other. Matt had asked to go back to patrol, and we let that happen. The timing may seem like it, but Jeff's decision didn't have any bearing on Matt working as a supervisor," Snedecor said.

Claussen, who also serves as an at-large Hobart city councilman, could not be reached for comment. He will be reduced in rank to sergeant.

White, a 20-year Police Department veteran, was sworn in as the new police chief on March 6 of last year.

White, who declined to comment further on his resignation, will be moved into investigations following a brief vacation, Snedecor said. 

"My staff and I tried to do the right thing each and every day, even if the right thing wasn't the easiest thing. Integrity was our watchword," White said.

White had moved up the ranks, serving the previous four years as deputy police chief under two prior chiefs. 

White replaced former Police Chief David Evans, who stepped down Feb. 23 of last year following an agreement between him and the mayor.

Evans replaced former Chief Rod Gonzalez, who stepped down March 19, 2010, citing personal reasons.

Snedecor said he will be do an interview process within the next 30 days to select White's replacement.

In the interim, Snedecor said he plans to have either the deputy chief of police or one of the department heads run the department.

Lt. Vance Thompson serves as deputy chief of police; Lt. David Grissom, investigations commander; Lt. Gonzalez, now head of the support division and staff, and Lt. Jack Grennes, public information officer.

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