Marion Mayor Scott Schertzer and Safety Director Randy Caryer hosted a small group of visitors to Marion City Hall for a formal ceremony on Monday in which three Marion Police Officers were promoted. Major Jay McDonald was promoted to Chief of Police, Lieutenant Chris Adkins was promoted to Major and Officer Richard Wheeler was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Family members of the promoted officers were in attendance, as well media members, law enforcement leaders and government dignitaries. The ceremony was also live streamed via zoom.
Jay McDonald, a native of Toledo and a graduate of Whitmer High School became the 15th Chief of Police for the City of Marion since 1903, succeeding Bill Collins who retired this past October. McDonald began his service with the Marion Police Department in 1994 as a Patrolman and attended the Law Enforcement Academy at North Central Technical College in Mansfield. McDonald was promoted to Lieutenant in 2000 and graduated a short time later from the Police Executive Leadership College (PELC) through the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police. Chief McDonald previously held the rank of Major and throughout 13 years as a Staff Commander, he held separate commands in the Operations, Investigations and the Administrative Divisions.
Chief McDonald has long served the Fraternal Order of Police in various leadership roles on the local, state and national levels, including an 8-year term as Ohio Lodge President and 4 years as National Vice President. Through his service with the Fraternal Order of Police, Chief McDonald held numerous prominent appointments and committee seats, making him a nationally recognized expert on a wide array of prominent issues in policing.
McDonald brings several years of vast, high-level law enforcement expertise to the Office of the Chief by virtue of his work on the state and national stage. Given the complex nature of law enforcement and the critical challenges facing the profession today, Chief McDonald’s resume uniquely equips him to build upon the exceptional foundation laid by previous leaders at MPD.
Chief McDonald and his wife Amy are the parents of three adult children (Christopher, Andrea, and Patrick) and are longtime residents of Marion.
Major Chris Adkins was first hired by the Marion Police Department in 1996 as a Communications Officer and was later hired as a police officer in 1999. From 2006-2010, Adkins was assigned as a Detective with the Investigative Division, serving a pivotal role in numerous high-profile investigations during his tenure. In 2010, Adkins was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, serving two years in the patrol division before being assigned as the Lieutenant of the MARMET Drug Task Force.
Adkins holds a commission with the FBI as a member of their drug task force operations and with his promotion, he will remain in the Investigative Division at MPD, serving as Staff Commander.
Major Adkins is a 1995 graduate of Harding High School and a 1997 graduate of the Marion Technical College Law Enforcement Academy. Major Adkins and his wife Amanda reside in Marion.
Lt. Richard Wheeler is a 2004 graduate of Newark High School and he served in the United States Marine Corp from 2004 until 2013 with an honorable discharge at the rank of Sergeant. While serving in the military, Lt Wheeler had multiple deployments, and served in many different countries.
Wheeler was hired by the Marion Police Department in 2014, attending the Ohio Highway Patrol Basic Academy. Since 2018, Lt. Wheeler has been accompanied by his K9 Partner Joker while assigned to the patrol division. Wheeler has also been a member of the Special Response Team for 6 years, serving as an operator and team sniper. Since 2015, Wheeler has been a field training officer and he is also a department firearms instructor.
Lt. Wheeler is currently enrolled at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University and resides in Marion with his wife Nicole.
“Having an awareness of the pressing issues facing law enforcement across the country, it is imperative that we continually promote leaders who possess moral courage, an exceptional commitment to those we serve and the ability to navigate these challenging times”, said Mayor Scott Schertzer. “I have supreme confidence in Chief McDonald’s ability to fulfill the many obligations we have to our residents and the promotions today represent our on-going promise to be our absolute best in service to our community”.