The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Politics

January 22, 2014

Elwood Police Chief Hanna to resign

Resignation effective

(Continued)

ELWOOD, Ind. —

Hanna's resignation comes days after the termination of Police Department secretary Melissa Brizendine, whom Hanna said was fired without cause. Brizendine is the wife of former Elwood chief Jason Brizendine. At Wednesday's city council meeting, Arnold said Brizendine had not been fired and would be at work today.

Hanna said, despite the incidents of the past year, other career pursuits are his only reason for resigning.

"The letter Rodney Cummings wrote was a good thing. It simply helped the department focus on the things it should be focusing on. We shouldn't be the people investigating our own boss," Hanna said. "And the FOP 'vote of no confidence' involved the mayor, not me.

"Since I've been chief, the department has been very progressive and proactive, and we've made great strides in making Elwood a safe place to live and raise a family."

Hanna said that his first year, he turned 6 percent of the department's budget back into the general fund, while still updating the department's car fleet, uniforms and building the reserve force. His second year, he did the same while returning 3 percent of the budget. He said he was also proud about sending several officers to specialty training schools.

Caldwell, a 27-year police officer and Elwood High School graduate, has lived in Elwood all his life. At Wednesday's City Council meeting, he said he appreciates the opportunity and has many goals and expectations for the department as he starts his new position. Caldwell replaced Detective Scott Bertram as assistant chief in 2013. Hanna said he would work with Caldwell immediately to start turning over responsibilities. 

"I will do whatever I can to help Phil become a successful leader, but it’s going to be up to him to gain the trust of the men working under him," Hanna said.

Like Jack Molitor on Facebook and follow him @aggiejack4 on Twitter, or call 640-4883.

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