Avila praised by Medina officials during his final board meeting

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 December 2015 at 12:00 am

File photo by Tom Rivers – Jose Avila has led the Medina Police Department for 18 ½ years. He is retiring in 11 days.

MEDINA – Jose Avila attended his final Village Board as police chief on Monday. He has been going to the board meetings, at least two a month, for the past 18 ½ years.

He will be retiring in 11 days, ending a 32-year career in law enforcement. He has served as Medina’s police chief the past 18 years with another six months before that as assistant chief.

Avila told the board on Monday that he is grateful for the opportunity to lead the Medina Police Department. Chad Kenward, a Medina police officer, has been appointed to succeed Avila as chief.

“You should feel very proud of your service to the village,” Mayor Andrew Meier told Avila during Monday’s meeting. “A lot of people hold you in high regard.”

Village Board members all expressed appreciation for Avila’s service and conduct on the job.

“It’s not easy being the police chief in a small town,” said Trustee Owen Toale. “You’re a target.”

Toale said Avila put in extra time and effort as police chief. He also managed the department well with some budget constraints, Trustee Mike Sidari said.

Trustee Todd Bensley said Avila has been a good communicator with board members.

“I appreciate your open communication,” Bensley said. “I wish you a well-deserved retirement.”

Avila also has been functioning as Medina’s animal control officer, looking after dogs picked up and kept in the dog pound at the Police Department.

Village officials are trying to work out a deal with the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department to pick up loose dogs in Medina. Sidari doesn’t think there should be a charge because village residents pay for the service through their town taxes, but Avila said the county will want additional money.

He suggested the village consider hiring a part-time person for the job.

The Medina Police Department will continue to handle the job in early 2016 until a longer-term solution can be worked out.