Chief Beckwith Reports
During 2014, the Willoughby Police Department has not had any major changes in personnel other than the early and unexpected retirement of our Administrative Assistant.
In battling the opiate epidemic, Willoughby Police Department along with all other Lake County agencies were assisted by The Lake County Sheriff’s Office “Opiate Task Force.” The Task Force actively participates in the investigations of all types of crime where opiate abuse is directly or indirectly related. To date it has made a significant impact.
One of the most difficult crimes to investigate and/or prosecute are frauds through telecommunication. Many people receive emails, phone calls, even text messages that are very misleading. At times they may seem legitimate by being disguised as coming from the Internal Revenue Service, creditors, banks, or even appear to be relatives. We take reports yearly from victims who have lost money from this sort of crime. Most of the perpetrators are from foreign countries or conduct their scam in a way that is untraceable. The best advice is to ALWAYS take the time to confirm everything before sending money anywhere. When in doubt, call the police department and speak with an officer.
In closing, I would like to say that as I approach my three year mark as Chief, much has happened and there is still much to be done. The entire staff works together with the goal of operating in such a manner as to accomplish the mission of the department and better serve the community. As a native of Willoughby, I have a personal interest in the success of the Department and its effectiveness in carrying out our mission. To assist me with that, I want to encourage and increase two-way communication between the Willoughby Police Department, its personnel, and both the business and residential community.
Willoughby Police Department has an Awards Committee comprised of several employees within the Department. The committee reviews nominations and supporting documentation and may issue an award or refer the nominations to the Lake County Chiefs of Police Association.
For 2014, Detective Sergeant Matt Tartaglia was chosen as the Officer of the Year. He received nomination letters noting his exemplary work ethic, diligence, and compassion. Special Officer Chuck Popik was awarded the 2014 Special Officer of the Year award. In addition, the Special Officer of the Year Award was renamed the Jason Gresko Memorial Award in his honor. In 2009, a Civilian Employee of the Year was established. Communications Clerk Kim Thompson received this award for 2014. She was nominated for her dedication and exemplary work ethic.
Patrolman Shane Rahz and Sgt. Dan Pitts, along with Special Officer Gary Betzler are the Department’s motorcycle officers. Officers ride city-owned, specially equipped Harley Davidson Police Edition Road Kings. They are primarily used for handling traffic complaints in residential neighborhoods, although they are still assigned a zone and handle routine calls.
Patrolman Burrington and K-9 Rebel, and recent additions to the unit, Patrolman Matt Neath and K-9 Loki, continue to be active in the community, assisting with various arrests and playing important roles with tracking and suspect apprehensions. Additionally, they continue to make public appearances at city functions and festivals.
Report an Incident
If you wish to make us aware of a crime, incident, or suspicious circumstances that have occurred in Willoughby, please call us at 951-1234 and talk to one of our communications officers. You are also welcome to stop in to our station at 36700 Euclid Ave and ask to talk to an officer. In the event you wish to remain anonymous, you may also call our tip line at 975-0873 and leave a recorded message.
Neighborhood Speeding Complaints
Any observations of a serious nature should be reported by way of 911 immediately. General speeding or traffic signal violations on a particular street or area may be reported by way of this website. Please note any particular times or vehicle descriptions.
Officers use marked vehicles, hand-held lasers, motorcycles, and a speed trailer to monitor traffic for violations and officers are routinely assigned to targeted areas when identified.
Please follow this link to report general speeding or traffic signal violations.
The mission of the Willoughby Police Department shall be to provide a safe environment in which residents and non-residents can live and work. The Willoughby Police Department recognizes that it derives its authority from and is accountable to the community it serves. The Department will continually strive to provide effective and efficient police service consistent with the community’s needs and concerns. This mission shall be accomplished by the prompt but fair enforcement of the local and state laws. We believe the basic concerns of the citizens of Willoughby include a desire for peace, tranquility, and freedom from crime and disorder. We further believe that only through a coordinated police-community effort can public order and safety be achieved and sustained; therefore, we will actively encourage community support in a cooperative effort to achieve this mission.
Public Records Policy
Our city government belongs to the citizens of the City of Willoughby. We conduct our government activities in the open, and we are proud of our strong commitment to this important principle of democracy. View our Public Records Policy here.
Federal and State Record Checks
Municipal police departments are specifically prohibited from providing state and federal record checks. The Ohio Revised Code provides for private companies to offer this service. Additional information, including a list of vendors can be found on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.