SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – Springfield Police Chief Lee Graf is retiring after more than 25 years in service to the Springfield Police Division, city officials said on Monday.

“It has been an honor to serve the citizens of the Springfield community throughout my career,” said Graf. “I have been privileged to work alongside some of the finest men and women in law enforcement, both within the Division and throughout Clark County and the Miami Valley. I have full faith and confidence that this community will continue to be well-served in the capable hands of my fellow officers after my departure.”

According to a release, Graf, a decorated Marine Corps veteran, has served the Springfield Police Division in multiple positions since 1996. He was a sergeant in the Community Policing Unit, a lieutenant in the Uniform Patrol and Professional Standards divisions and a Captain of Uniform patrol before he was appointed Chief of Police in December 2017.

In his time with the Springfield Police Division, Graf established the Citizen Police Academy and opened the police substation at 17 W. Johnny Lytle Ave.                      

“Chief Graf has been a major asset to our community for decades and has truly been a servant leader during his tenure as police chief,” said City Manager Bryan Heck. “He has paved the way for the next generation of servant leaders in the police division, and he will be missed.”

Springfield has already begun searching for Chief Graf’s successor. According to the release, the city has employed a government consulting firm to help recruit candidates on both an internal and national scale. These applicants will then be sent to city officials who will review the candidates and conduct interviews.

The new police chief will be selected by Heck and confirmed by the City Commission.