The Village of Monroe Police- The City of Monroe Police

Brief Overview
     Village of Monroe founded.  Probably had an early town Marshall, but there is no recorded history of that

1880s   The Monroe Horse & Ranger Company was formed.  Primary purpose was to capture and convict horse-thieves and other felons.

In the early 1920s to 30s law enforcement progressed in the area and part time volunteer officers started patrolling in their own vehicles.  

In the 50s the Village purchased a used police car and the part time officers would stop by after work, pick up the cruiser, take it home, and respond to calls from home being dispatched by phone.

In the 1960s there were about 12 part time officers taking turns keeping the streets of Monroe patrolled.  At this time they started actually getting paid.

How did they communicate?  At first, by phone, as Monroe had no dispatcher or call takers then.  The State Highway Patrol Post 9 and Butler County Sheriff’s office would take calls and dispatch.  At that time Monroe’s cars were using OSP radio identification numbers. 
The Village continued to grow.  FCC frequencies were purchased, in car radios were purchased, the cars  and Monroe Dispatch Center set up.  The first four full time dispatchers were hired in 1975. 

In 1975 there were 21 part time officers, the Village continued to grow.

In the late 1980s and early 90s studies were being done regarding the police dept.  It was decided by Council that to better serve the growing community a full time Police Department was necessary.

In 1990 the first full time Chief of Police was hired.

In 1994 there were 33 part time police officers in Monroe.  Of these 4 are still part time and 4 are full time Officers

In June 1995 the Village of Monroe became the City of Monroe.

In 1995 the first full time Police Officer was hired.  Hard to believe but this was only 15 years ago.

2010 we have 29 full time and 4 part time Police Officers.  6 full time and 1 part time dispatchers, 6 police auxiliary volunteers and 2 volunteer police clergy. We also have 1 full time Records/Assistant. We will continue to grow…


The Monroe Horse & Ranger Company


            The Village of Monroe was founded in 1817. We are sure that there was some type of law enforcement for the Village, but the first record of an organized law enforcement group was “The Monroe Horse Ranger Co. of Monroe.” The Monroe Horse Ranger Co. was incorporated April 2, 1901. The purpose of this organization was to apprehend and convict horse-thieves and other felons. Some of the officers of this organization over the years were, Dr. J.S. Macready, William Compton, IA. Conover, Frank Williamson, J.W. Kyle, George Longstreet, L.H. Bunnell, Ed Vorhis, just to name a few. 
           The law enforcement then progressed to where the officers were constables who were part-time. The part-time officers were available when they were not working their regular jobs. During this time there were only eight or nine officers on the department. Officers would leave their jobs, stop at the police department on the way home and pick up the cruiser. The officer would then answer calls from home.
          Some of the police officers during the 5O’s and 60’s included Chief George Cobb, Kenneth Cobb, Sam Cobb, Merle Leeds, E.M. Frentzel, David Fullmer, Weldon Bathard, Charles Oakley, Alvin Bennett, Robert Hale, and Franklin White. Several officers from the late 60’s and early 70’s are Gene Egelston, Cliff Green, and Don Faris. These officers did excellent jobs for what they had to work with during these years. There were times that these officers used their personal vehicles to patrol. 

A listing of some of the part-time officers that we have been able to come up with besides the ones listed above:

Mike Lawhorn, Chief 1977-1990                   Dan Miller
Ralph Maples                                                   Larry Cottongim
Marty Wilbur                                                    Larry Line
Donald Dillman                                                Kenneth LeForce
Charles Trees                                                     Wendall Howland
Mike Hiatt                                                         Wesley Wilkinson
James Holland                                                  Henry Martin
Merle Leeds                                                       Stan Whittlesey
Roger Griffin                                                     Jack Walker
Larry Palmer                                                      Phyllis Johnson
Mark Wright                                                      Brenda Stephens
Bob Routson                                                     Gary Wells
Bobby Williams                                                 Joseph Rhodes
Randy Netherly                                                 Douglas McCall
Robert Taylor                                                    Mark McConaughy
Mike Sticklen                                                    David Murphy
Rick Davis                                                          Wayne Fields
Craig Campbell                                                 William Estes
Timothy Meehan                                               David Creech
William Marcum                                                James Kidd
Aaron McQueen                                                Mark Hatfield
Terry Snelling                                                    Lisa Vultaggio
Kay Hopkins, Dispatcher                                  Betty Schwing, Dispatcher
Julia Gomia, Dispatcher                                    Vicky Tucker, Dispatcher
Donna Wilson, Dispatcher                                Debby Harmon, Dispatcher

Part-time officers active in the 1990's:

Jeffery Lentz                                                       Larry Line
Bill Stumpf                                                          Luis Amaya
Bobby Sparks                                                     Allan Clerk
Harvey Poff                                                         Cliff Green
David Chasteen                                                  Keith Snelling
Dan Bussell                                                          Mike Fishbaugh
Eric Sibcy                                                             Anthony Folino

Bobby Eastham                                                   Cris Kelly
Jack Baker                                                            Don Faris 

            Communications were not the best at times because in the beginning the calls were given to the officer over the phone. As technology progressed and mobile radios became available, the cruisers were equipped with radios on low bands. The Ohio Highway Patrol did most of the dispatching for the Monroe Police Department. Someone in Monroe would answer the phone and then relay the message to Post 9. For years the cruisers had unit numbers that were Highway Patrol radio identification, for example, 2190, 2191 and 2192. 
            Over the years the Village grew and the need for more men and equipment was more apparent. In 1975 Monroe hired their first full-time dispatchers. One of the first dispatchers hired at that time, Jeanette Schofield, is still with the department. All the Village departments were on the low band frequency. The department then progressed from the low band radios to VHF frequencies and was on the same frequency as the Butler County Sheriff. 

            Mike Lawhorn became Chief of Police in 1977 serving until 1990. He and his staff started working on upgrading communications, obtaining a radio frequency assigned exclusively to Monroe Police. Working with Motorola, Monroe was able to obtain radio repeater frequencies assigned to them. A new radio system was installed which included new mobile radios and hand held portable radios. This improvement gave the Monroe Police Department more efficient radio coverage in the Village, along with improving the safety of its officers. 

            During the 80’s the part-time force grew from a dozen or so officers to about twenty. With Interstate 75 and Route 63 as a part of Monroe, the need for more coverage along with officers to do criminal investigations, was apparent. During this time there was a study done of the department by staff officers from the Middletown Police Department. It was determined that the officers were doing a good job with the part-time staff and the equipment available. It was suggested that the department move into larger quarters and that there was a need for full-time officers. 

            In late 1989, Chief Lawhorn decided to resign because of a need to spend more time at his personal business which was growing. In June of 1990 Ernest Howard was hired as Chief of Police. Council at that time asked Chief Howard to look at the feasibility of moving to a full-time police department. The need was there for full-time officers, but the funding was lacking. 

            In December of 1992 the Police Department was relocated to a leased building at 820B Lebanon Street. These were larger facilities and a great improvement over the long time facility that was located at 201 South Main Street. There was no privacy or room for expansion. In addition the 201 South Main building did not meet the American with Disabilities Act. That building had previously housed all of the Village offices. The Village offices were then fragmented out into other buildings around the Village. 

            During the next several years, there were many changes in the police department. The department went from having one officer on each shift around the clock with an extra car from 6:00 P.M. to midnight. We then started having the one car around the clock with the backup car being from 8:00 P.M. to 4:00 A.M. With an increase of calls and statistics showing that there was a need for another officer from noon to 8:00 P.M., this extra car was instituted. Statistics then indicated that there was a need for two cars 24 hours a day. In November of 1993 Monroe Police took over a policing contract for Lemon Township and the road patrol increased to three patrol cars 24 hours a day. 

              Some other changes were, in 1991 the police department started using computers for record keeping instead of having box after box of paper records. This made for better efficiency and a lot less space taken up for storage of records. With the contract for the policing of Lemon Township came four additional marked cars and two unmarked cars, giving us eight cars to be used on patrol. The additional vehicles cut down on the wear and tear on each car.

Prior to adding the additional vehicles, each police vehicle had been averaging forty to forty five thousand miles a year, because they were on the road almost constantly.

In September of 1993, the Lemon Township Trustees decided that because of the loss of land to both Middletown and Monroe the maintaining of a Police Department was not cost effective. For three months, Chief Ernest Howard of Monroe served as interim Chief for Lemon Township. During this time a contract was worked out for the Municipality of Monroe to provide police service to Lemon Township. On November 3, 1993, the Lemon Township department was disbanded and Monroe Police began to provide the police service.

As a part of the contract with Lemon Township, Monroe took possession of all of the Township equipment. This included the radio system, vehicles, weapons, and so on. As a part of the contract, Lemon Township also purchased police vehicles and helped to upgrade the computer system for the Monroe police.

Late in 1994 the Monroe Police Department started the first K-9 Unit with the dog “Duke” being assigned to Officer Frank Robinson. The officers assigned to the Miiddletown Police K-9 unit trained Duke and Robinson. Duke was used not only by the Monroe Police Department, but was made available to neighboring departments on an as needed basis.

In the later part of 1994 Council decided that the funding for full-time officers would become available in late 1995. Processing of applicants took place and on December 3, 1995 the first four full-time officers were appointed and then on December 17 there were four more full-time officers appointed. The addition of the full-time officers did not mean that we could do away with the part-time personnel. To maintain the level of service indicated by the number of calls for service etc., the part-time officers were and still are needed. In November of 1996 three additional full-time officers were hired to bring the number of full-time officers to twelve.

In June of 1996 Officer Gregg Myers came on the department as a reserve officer, bringing with him “Topgun” a drug  K-9 unit. Myers put in time for the Monroe Police Department and also worked with the Warren County Drug Task Force. In late 1996 Myers and “Topgun” were assigned as part-time with the department. In April of 1998 Myers came on the department full-time bringing on “Topgun” full-time.

At that time, the Police staff was: (active-resigned)

Ernest W. Howard Sr., Chief of Police
Thomas A. Bishop, Captain
Franklin Robinson, Sergeant
P.J. McQueen, Sergeant
Jeffery Bowling, Sergeant
Thomas Cobaugh, Patrol Officer
Kimberly Pant, Detective
Timothy Meehan, Patrol Officer
Eric Walton, Patrol Officer
Ronald Mueller, resigned to take another police position
Mark Bolin, resigned to take another police position
Alan Fear, resigned to take another police position
Janice Carder, Patrol Officer
Brett Kahny, resigned to take job in Nevada
Brian Curlis, Patrol Officer
Gregg Myers, Patrol Officer
Michael Staples, Patrol Officer
Jeanette Schofield, dispatcher-retired
Darla Clayton, Dispatcher
Marilyn Whitaker, Clerk
Danny Rose, Dispatcher
Amber Baker, Dispatcher
Rebecca Rosenbalm, Dispatcher

As the City of Monroe grows, the need for public safety and public service personnel will grow- Police, Fire, Street, and Water crews will have a bigger demand for their services. Not only do we have to take into account the population of the City of Monroe, but also we have to remember that we have thousands of other people passing through our City every day on I-75, Routes 4 and 63. We do not know just who passes through our City each day. In the past, Monroe officers have arrested persons wanted in other jurisdictions for kidnap, murder, and sundry other crimes. On more than one occasion, our officers being suspicious of a person has led to them making an apprehension of a criminal who was passing through and had thoughts of committing a robbery or burglary in Monroe.

During 1997 there were a few changes in the department. Long time dispatcher Jeannette Schofield retired after 22 years of service. Another long time dispatcher, Marilyn Whitaker, was promoted to a position as Clerk in charge of Records and served as Coordinator for the State controlled Law Enforcement Automated Data System. Three officers who had been hired full-time left for various reasons. Mark Bolen left for a higher paying job with Butler County Sheriff, Alan Fear took a higher paying job back in Iowa, and Ronald Mueller took a higher paying job with the Harrison, Ohio Police Department.

Early in 1999 there was a presentation made to the City Council by City Manager, Donald Whitman and Police Chief Ernest Howard to hire four additional full-time officers. This presentation was made because of the growth of the City and the continuing need for a continuity of service. Council acted on this recommendation and in October and November, there were four full-time officers added to the twelve that had been hired since 1995. Those officers were David Chasteen, who had been a part-time officer, Chad Stull, Brad Pelfrey, and Michael Rosenbalm. Just prior to being hired on a full-time basis, K-9 “Duke” was assigned to Officer Chasteen and both were trained to work together.

In September of 1999 the City functions were all, except for the fire department, moved into the new facility at 233 S. Main St. The Police Department was placed on the ground level with the entrance from the rear of the building. For the first time there were two, approved, holding cells to hold defendants in. Prior, in the building at 201 S. Main, there was a metal cell with bars. This would never have passed today’s requirements for even a short term, eight hours or less, facility. 

Officers in 1999 were:

Ernest Howard Chief of Police
Thomas Bishop Captain
Franklin Robinson Sergeant
P.J. McQueen Sergeant
Thomas Cobaugh Patrol Officer
Kimberly Pant Detective
Eric Walton Patrol Officer
Janice Carder Patrol Officer
Brian Curlis Patrol Officer School Resource Officer
Gregg Myers Patrol Officer
Michael Staples Patrol Officer
David Chasteen Patrol Officer
Chad Stull Patrol Officer
Bradley Pelfrey Patrol Officer
Michael Rosenbalm Patrol officer

Part-time officers in 1999 were:

Dan Bussell Detective
Jeff Lentz Patrol Officer
Larry Line Patrol Officer
Bobby Sparks Patrol Officer
Bill Stumpf Patrol Officer
Harvey Poff Patrol Officer (hit-skip and background inv)

Luis Amaya Patrol Officer
Allan Clark Detective (resigned)
Mike Fishbaugh Detective
Eric Sibcy Patrol Officer
Tony Folino Patrol Officer
Robert Eastham Patrol Officer
Jack Baker Patrol Officer
Cliff Green Reserve, Court Bailiff
Darryl Whitaker Humane Officer (resigned)


Darla Clayton Dispatcher
Marilyn Whitaker Clerk
Danny Rose Dispatcher
Amber Baker Dispatcher
Becky Rosenbalm Dispatcher
Jeanette Schofield Part-time Dispatcher

In April of 2000 Officer Myers retired “Topgun” and the money was raised to purchase another dog. The dog a black German Shepherd “Alec” was purchased from a kennel in Freemont, Ohio, where Myers and “Alec” were trained. Alec was trained as a dual-purpose dog, to work patrol and also in drug detection.

In late 2000 Dispatcher Amber Baker resigned her position with the Monroe Police Department and testing was started for her replacement.  Connie Frost filled Baker’s position in January of 2001. Brian Curlis was promoted to sergeant to fill the supervisor’s position in February of 2001. Darryl Whitaker the Humane Officer also resigned due to demands of his full-time job. Mike McKinney who was also working as a part-time dispatcher filled the Humane Officers position.

In about 1997 there was a proposal for the police and fire departments to change their radio systems to the 800 MHz (UHF) frequencies. This was delayed until early in 2000 when it was decided to make the plans and sign an agreement with West Chester Township (Union Township) to go on their 800MHz system. The 800 MHz equipment was installed during November and December of 2000. Not only did the police and fire go on this system, both the street and water departments changed over. The VHF radio frequencies were also retained for backup and allow the departments to communicate with other department that were not on the UI-IF frequencies. There were some bugs in the system to be worked out.

In 2001, Kenneth Parson and Brett Kahny were hired.  Also on 4/10/01 a part-time officer, Scott Kennard, was appointed.

In February of 2001, Brian Curlis was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
During the summer of 2001 members of the Monroe Police Department decided that they needed union representation and signed with the Fraternal Order of Police Ohio Labor Council. Bargaining for the first contract between patrol officers, sergeants and the City of Monroe began in mid February of 2002.

In September of 2001, it was decided that K-9 “Duke” was reaching the age of retirement of a K-9 unit. Money was again raised to purchase another dog for the K-9 unit to replace Duke. Tango was purchased from a kennel in North Carolina and put into training. Officer David Chasteen and Tango underwent thirteen weeks of intensive training. Tango is also a dual trained K-9 in that he is a patrol dog used in searching of buildings, for criminals, lost persons and is also used for drug detection.

September 11, 2001 was a shock to the country and started to raise the awareness of all safety service forces in the country. The Monroe Police Department had to start to think about situations that we had never thought about in the past. There are several facilities in or near Monroe which could be targets for terrorists

There had been talk between Chief Hale of Trenton and Chief Howard about the cities of Monroe and Trenton forming a Combined Response Team. After September 11 the idea moved forward very quickly. Officers were given a chance to sign up for the Combined Response Team and there were several officers that went through the physical testing to be on the team. There were four officers from each department assigned to the team that was under the direction of Chief Rodney Hale of Trenton. A contract was signed to cover the fact that the officers would be providing service and enforcement to both communities. To activate this unit either Chief Hale or Chief Howard had to be contacted. This unit trained for high-level tactical entries for search warrants, hostage situations and building searches. Equipment for this unit was obtained through military surplus along with each department sharing the cost of equipment that could not be obtained in the surplus market.

In January 2002, a long time member, Cliff Green passed away and was laid to rest at the Mound Cemetery with full honors by the Monroe Police Department.

In 2004, Retired Sharonville Police Officer Gregory Homer was sworn in as Chief of Police. Chief Homer came to Monroe with a vision to help Monroe grow as a community and professional Police Agency. In the recent years, he has increased patrol efficiency, created new positions, and hired additional Professional Officers and Dispatchers. Since 2009, the SWAT team was reborn and a Traffic Crash Investigation Unit, Honor Guard, and Community Resource Officer created.

In 2010, the radio system was updated to current standards by joining the NEW Butler County BRICS emergency radio communications system. BRICS has given the Officers greater radio coverage and increased Officer Safety on its encrypted digital 800mhz system. Officers are now able to communicate directly with adjoining agencies where as before they had to go through other communications centers. GPS locations of the cruisers are now available in dispatch giving the officers that extra edge of protection not available until recently.

There are many dedicated officers, both part-time and full-time, who put their lives on the line for the citizens of Monroe each day.

 To see the current roster of the Monroe Police Department, Click Here !