Chester Township PD History

Historical records provided by the Chesterland Historical Foundation show that a "Certificate of Authority" was issued on March 18, 1892 empowering MR. Oscar pursue and arrest without a warrant, any alleged horse thief or felon...

Through the years the Geauga County Sheriff's Department and an assortment of men served as constables whose main job were to keep gambling devices out of the township.

The longest serving constable was Mr. Neal Pendleton who was elected in 1949.  His wife Virginia volunteered to assist him with telephone and radio calls all conducted from their home. With the communities population tripling from 1950-1960, Constable Pendleton's position changed to an appointed one in 1950.  He retired in 1970, only to return three years later and remained with the Township until August 24,1977.

In November of 1965, the first police levy was passed in order to establish a police department.  In November of 1966 a 1 mill levy was passed to produce $26,000.00 annually and in April 1966 the Chester Township Police Department was officially opened in the Kump Building at the southeast corner of Herrick Drive and SR 306.  Constables Mr. Neal Pendleton, Mr. Kenneth Matulia, and Mr. Bert Hern under the leadership of Lt. D. Shuster, & Chief Maurice Layfield became Patrol Officers. 

In 1967 new headquarters were secured in the Summers building at the northeast corner of US 322 and Ward Drive.  In 1978, the Township Trustees signed an option to purchase an office building at 12696 North Opalocka Drive to be used for township offices, police and zoning departments.  In 1981 the township offices were relocated to the Town Hall building on SR 306, and the police department remained where it is today.  A vehicle access road was cut to Parkside Dr. connecting all township buildings.

In 1984 the first female officer Lisa Gautner was hired to serve Chester Township, and in 1985 Officer James Vasileff with our dog "Echo" became the first K-9 Unit.

By 1987, with a budget of $595,000.00, our police department consisted of one full-time Chief, four full-time Sergeants, ten Officers, four full-time dispatchers, one full-time records clerk, and one-part-time dispatcher.

Today, the police department has reached a level of one Full-time Police Chief, one Full-time Captain, three full-time Sergeant's, Nine full-time Officers, one full-time Records Clerk, one part-time Officer with a potential of two additional part-time Officers. In 2006 the Police Department has set goals of increased community education and involvement. We are all very pleased with the creation of Chesterland's Safety Township as this project will serve as the foundation for our goals, for many generations to come. This project would not have been possible without the efforts of the Chesterland Lions Club and our community as a whole.