Sylvania’s Superheroes: Honoring Those Who Serve – Sylvania Township Police Department Chief Paul Long

by Mary Helen Darah

Paul Long
Chief Paul Long

Chief Paul Long has been at the helm of the Sylvania Township Police Department since March 19, 2018, retiring from the Toledo Police Department after 33 years of service. “I didn’t have a lengthy retirement,” he stated. “I retired from running the Scott Park District Station on March 16 and began work on the 19th. I saw this opening. My wife and I have lived in Sylvania since 1987. When you marry a Sylvania girl, they won’t live anywhere else. We have two boys (Northview grads like their mom) ages 23 and 26, who both went to the University Toledo. My oldest is a Toledo Fire Department dispatcher with a goal to be a firefighter. My Longest is an information systems analyst. My wife is an oncology nurse at the ProMedica Hickman Center.”

Loving Sylvania
“I love Sylvania,” stated Chief Long. “It’s where we live, where we shop, and where we go to restaurants. We know its people. The networking from coaching kids ball teams and the schools is great. It’s a perfect fit. We would joke around that it would be great one day if I could be the police chief here and we would laugh because of the low probability of that happening. Well, here we are, and I still can’t believe it. I didn’t even put in for the job of chief. This was such an amazing opportunity right here where we live.”

The learning curve
The Chief had a few adjustments after spending three decades serving in Toledo. “It is a different size than what I was used to,” he stated. “In Toledo, you would delegate officers to specific areas. Here, officers do a little bit of everything because we don’t have extra units to assign things to. That has been my biggest learning curve.”

Experience is everything
The Chief believes that one of the most positive aspects of the Sylvania Township Police Department is the number of experienced officers they have on the force. “Some of our officers have over 20 years of experience,” he said. “The majority have been here over 12 years. Conversely, we could have 13 or 14 people leave in the future. We need to think about hiring and training new people. You can’t burn people out. We really need to think about selecting officers. It’s tough to attract law enforcement people in this environment. We are currently hiring, and people can go to our website to apply and take the test through Sept. 14.”

Take comfort
Chief Long feels that one of the most rewarding aspects of his position is having the opportunity to get to know people and being part of the community. “Yes, I’m new to the department, but I’m not new to the community. I love that comfort level,” he stated. “TPD has 600 on the force. We have 44 sworn and 19 civilians for a total of 63 people. You get to really know people in the department. It’s a close-knit group. I enjoy that. I also like that we have the time to properly investigate a crime. We can give citizens the services they deserve.”

A brief PSA
When asked if there was anything the Chief would like to say to his fellow Sylvanians, he did not hesitate with a response. “It’s great to live in a safe community but lock your car doors and houses,” he suggested. “Make it more difficult to be a victim of crime. Usually, it is a crime of opportunity. If things are locked, generally they move on. Also, if you see something that is out of place, call us. We like to know what is going on. Do not be afraid to call the police. If you don’t call, we can’t prevent future occurrences.”

Here to serve
Chief Long feels his main goal is for the Sylvania Township Police Department to provide services in a professional manner. He stated, “We have great officers that treat people well and do their job with empathy. We are here to serve.”

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