Assistant Chief of Police, Alliance City Police
Hi, my name is Gregory S. Anderson. I started my career as a volunteer in the Alliance Police Reserve unit in 1986, in the City of Alliance, Ohio. I went on to the Salem Police Academy in 1987. After graduation, I was hired by the City of Sebring as a part-time police officer. In 1990, I accepted a full-time position with the Goshen Twp. Police Department, in Mahoning County, at the rate of $8 dollars an hour (full-time…wow).
We had no bullet-proof vests, we used revolvers, the shotgun was usually clean, and the portable radios almost always worked…Lol
In late 1990, I was promoted to the department’s only detective later that same year. As the only detective, I worked on numerous cases, one of which started in our county (Mahoning) and lead to several search warrants being served in Alliance, Ohio on a house on South Freedom Ave. This search lasted almost 24 hours, with numerous officers removing and cataloging stolen items from a stash house, which lead to more arrests both in Ohio and West Virginia, thus breaking up a multi-state burglary ring.
In late 1990, I took the civil service test for the City of Alliance with several other officers from the area, more as a joke amongst us then for the job. To my surprise in early 1991 I was interviewed and offered a patrolman’s position with the City of Alliance.
After serving a year on probation, I was placed on the afternoon shift as a patrolman for several years. At least here we had vests, the portable radios worked a little better, mostly as a blunt object when in a bar fight, the shotguns still were questionable and the manual typewriters were even worse. (I should have bought stock in “white out.”
In 1993, I was assigned to the Stark County Metropolitan Narcotics unit, where I worked as an undercover officer investigating narcotic crimes in Stark County and surrounding areas, for 3 years.
I attended the DEA narcotics training in Finley, Ohio as well as numerous other training events throughout the state. During one of these investigations, my partner (Larry Simpson, Stark County S.O.) and I were kidnapped and held by the Brown family in Canton, Ohio. We managed to escape by using calm heads, wits and some luck, only to later came back with arrest and search warrants and took down this notorious family, placing them all in prison for several years. I was honored with a plaque for this service to my community and my efforts in the battle against drug trafficking.
After this assignment, I went back to my home department (Alliance City) in 1995, but as a Detective assigned to the juvenile bureau. I investigated all forms of juvenile crimes such as abuse, rapes, homicides, kidnappings, etc. I received numerous letters of commendation from my department as well as from Stark County Agencies.
I went on to start and draft the city’s first daytime curfew ordinance to help curb delinquency and daytime burglaries committed by delinquents. I also started the Safety Pup program that was for K-5th grade students and was adopted by all the schools in the city to help educate kids on gun safety as well as stranger danger, drug and abuse education and awareness.
As a Detective, I traveled across the county attending training seminars involving juveniles and homicide investigation schools instructed by the likes of renowned forensic investigator Doctor Michael Boden.
I was also given command of the Alliance Police Reserve unit, along with my partner Roy Tittle.
This alone was a great honor for me, as it was symbolic of where my career started and I could now help others fulfill their dreams. Along with this duty assignment, I was give the job of motorcycle officer, using the departments 1972 Harley Davidson service car motorcycle, to perform traffic duty during parades and special city functions.
I went on to take promotional tests and went from Detective to Patrol Sergeant in 2001. Later in 2001, I tested and was promoted to Patrol Lieutenant where I was assigned as the second shift commander of the patrol division. This was one of, if not the fastest period for an officer to be promoted in department history.
I received certifications in firearms, pepper spray and distraction devices becoming an instructor in these disciplines. I also tried out for and was accepted into the SWAT team as an operator, earning my SWAT Trident.
2002 brought about the cities first ever Citizen Police Academy. This academy brought in people of the community to learn more about law enforcement and the effort we made to better their communities as well as build relations between police and citizens. Along with this program we started the RIDE ALONG program, allowing people to see firsthand what we do on the streets.
In 2003, I tested and was promoted to the position of Assistant Chief of Police, by passing the Captains rank, and was also assigned as the Assistant Emergency Manager, for the city, under then Chief Laurence “Larry” Dordea. In 2004, I volunteered to be the first officer in the department to try out a new piece of equipment – it was called the X26 TASER – yes, the 50,000-volt electronic control device…. stupid me. After pulling the probes from my chest and belly, I proclaimed the device works and we needed to equip our department, and we did….after the rest of the crew also took a hit…lol payback….
In 2008, I was made the Acting Chief, due to the retirement of Chief Dordea, and held this position for a year, until the new Chief was sworn in. This same year I implemented our first full-time training Coordinators position (Mike E. Jones), in response to better and more advanced training needs and records retention.
We also designed a new, and more modern format for the decaling of our cruisers, along with adding the city web page address to the bumpers, so citizens would be able to access the web page for information and contact information. We received numerous complements both from citizen and other law enforcement agencies in NE Ohio, many of which adopted aspects of our design into their own fleets.
Shortly after in in 2009, I was in a pursuit with an armed robbery and kidnap suspect. He was apprehended with a PIT maneuver by me, bringing the chase to and end on Freshly Ave. at Vine Street, just outside the city. This led to the suspect’s arrest and the recovery of the kidnapped person, but also eventually contributed to me taking an early retirement on full disability.
I was later awarded the Law Enforcement Purple Heart and the Silver Star for Bravery from the American Police Hall of Fame in Florida and was made a lifetime member. I now spend most of my time with family (daughters Wendie and Jonah) and grandchildren, friends and traveling with my wife Rose, and doing background acting in the movie industry in the Ohio and Pennsylvania area’s (IMDB).
I want my family, friends and community to know that I truly loved my career and the people I served and served with… I would do it all again, this little boy’s dream did come true.
Thanks, Mom and Dad
A Sample of Alliance, Ohio (Stark County) Law Enforcement history:
The first thing that needs to be said about the history of the Alliance Police Department is that there has never been one written. Part of this is due to the fact that the local newspapers only go back to 1871. Most of what is known about the department before 1904 comes only from the newspaper articles. The names of the members of the department before 1904 can only be found either in the articles of the day or in the monthly reports of the city government.
The original law enforcement officer for the City of Alliance in the early days was known as the City Marshal. The City Marshal was an elected officer with a term of two years in 1854. To assist the Marshal, there were Night Watchmen, which the Mayor would appoint, provided they were approved by the city council. There was no such thing as training in those days. Originally the Marshal was paid $2.00 a day and an additional 75 cents for each arrest, with the 75 cents being paid by the person who was arrested. Later, the salary of the Marshal was changed into a yearly salary of $250.00.
At first thought, this may seem like a tidy sum of money for that time, but what’s not widely known is that the Marshal was financially responsible for the prisoners. This ranged from their meals to taking them to Canton to the Workhouse, the equivalent to the modern county jail. The usual means was by train, but occasionally it was by horse and buggy. The Marshal would have to pay for all this out of his pocket, and later submit a bill to the city council to be reimbursed. By the year 1898, the Marshal’s salary had been increased to $480.00.
Alliance City Marshals
James G. Hogue 04-01-1872
John C. Griffith 04-01-1872 04-06-1874
George W. Shaver 04-06-1874 04-03-1876
William H. Anderson 04-03-1876 04-01-1878
George M. Kingsbury 04-01-1878 04-05-1880
Thomas J. Johnston 04-05-1880 05-01-1882
James G. Hogue 05-01-1882 05-20-1882
Matthias W. Lowman 05-20-1882 08-17-1885
Dennis V. Smeltz 08-17-1885 07-18-1887
Hiram Hartzell 08-01-1887 04-02-1888
T. Mahlon Stacy 04-02-1888 04-04-1892
George McFarland 04-04-1892 04-02-1894
Thomas R. Jones 04-02-1894 04-04-1898
Dennis V. Smeltz 04-04-1898 04-17-1900
Alliance Police Chiefs
Chief Percy D. Howell 04-17-1900 01-01-1910
Chief Richard R. France 01-01-1910 08-14-1916
Acting Chief Perry D. Oswalt 08-14-1916 11-15-1917
Acting Chief John A. Fawcett 11-15-1917 01-13-1918
Acting Chief Perry D. Oswalt 01-13-1918 04-30-1918
Acting Chief Robert H. Hawkins 04-30-1918 10-16-1919
Acting Chief John M. Elliott 10-16-1919 03-31-1922
Chief Howard E. Morris 04-01-1922 07-01-1925
Chief William D. Colvin 07-01-1925 07-01-1927
Chief Harry L. Stark 07-01-1927 04-03-1949
Chief Allen O. Lower Jr. 04-03-1949 09-17-1960
Chief Donald E. Cowen 09-17-1960 06-03-1972
Chief George D. Ziga 06-03-1972 01-31-1988
Acting Chief Cleatus W. Young 01-31-1988 08-19-1988
Chief James R. Black 08-19-1988 02-25-1998
Acting Chief Norman L. Retterer 02-25-1998 07-28-1998
Chief Lawrence A. Dordea 07-28-1998 12-24-2007
Acting Chief Greg Anderson 12-25-2007 09-25-2008