Leonard promoted, DeLong and Forgay reassigned at police department | CraigDailyPress.com

Leonard promoted, DeLong and Forgay reassigned at police department

Michelle Balleck

— Bill Leonard and Jerry DeLong have served next to one another at the Craig Police Department for 22 years.

And soon they’ll share the same title: captain.

Sgt. Leonard has been promoted to operations division commander, a post currently held by DeLong. Leonard will oversee patrol operations, school resource officers, community service officers and code enforcement.

DeLong, who already is a captain, is moving to support services division commander. He will oversee investigations, evidence, task force officers, records and administrative services, tasks currently performed by John Forgay. DeLong will be the department’s primary public information officer and professional standards officer.

The changes are effective Wednesday.

“I think it’s going to flatten the organizational chart and realign the structures,” Police Chief Walt Vanatta said.

Vanatta said the responsibility changes provide the captains with an understanding of all sides of the department’s operations, leading to more effective decision-making.

The chief said the moves also provide career development opportunities for his staff. Leonard said he is excited for the opportunity to advance.

“I’m ready to keep moving on with this department,” Leonard said. “I’ve put in some time here. We really have a good team now, and it’s still a fun job to do.”

Leonard was a patrol and field training officer for 10 years and patrol sergeant for five years. Now, with six years since his patrol experience, Leonard said he plans to ride along with officers and hear their goals and expectations of him in the new position.

“I’m looking forward to going back out and working with them at that level,” Leonard said.

He and DeLong said they face the challenge of learning about new technologies in their respective fields, but both said they are excited for the changes.

“I haven’t ever had the opportunity to do the investigation on serious crimes,” DeLong said, “and it’ll give me a different outlook. : What do we need to change? What do we need to do better?”

Forgay, formerly a lieutenant and now a sergeant, is stepping back from his role in investigating and taking on Leonard’s current position of administrative sergeant, which puts him in charge of community policing, training, research and development and investigative division support.

Forgay was out of the office and not available for comment Thursday. DeLong and Vanatta declined to comment on Forgay’s position switch.

Leonard and DeLong said they expect the transition period to last about six months as each gets acclimated with his new position and trains others to complete his former duties.

They said the department currently is facing issues with Craig’s growth and ongoing drug abuse.

“I think that’s where a lot of teamwork is going to come in,” Leonard said.

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or mperry@craigdailypress.com.

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