Left: Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre, talking with protesters before the October 15 NSM rally
(Toledo, OH) I visited a funeral home yesterday; the father of a friend of mine passed away. I did not know the man except through the anecdotes that my friend shared with me about her father.
I looked up and to my surprise Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre came into the room. He walked over to the casket, watched the video profile of my friend's father, talked with many of the people in the room, and left after about an hour.
The man who passed away was a Toledo Police officer who retired in 1985. Twenty years have passed since he left the force, and yet Navarre took time out of his evening to pay his respects to a good man he may not have seen in years.
This quiet, low-key chief, in my opinion, has been unfairly blamed for the riot that occurred on October 15 after the failed rally by the National Socialist Movement (NSM). The incident involving Captain Diana Ruiz-Krause is completely irrelevant to the violence that happened, as Ruiz-Krause is the public information officer for the department. Navarre was well within his rights to make a simple personnel decision - allowing Ruiz-Krause to attend a family event - especially when she left at a time when the crowd was peaceful.
Note: I have heard favorable comments from TPD officers about Captain Jack Smith, Navarre's apparent replacement in January. I trust that mayor-elect Carty Finkbeiner has done his homework and picked a capable administrator.
The department has achieved distinction in Navarre's tenure as chief. The report from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) noted that TPD ranked in the top five percent of police agencies nationwide, confirming what most Toledoans know: Mike Navarre has performed admirably in his role as chief.
I have great respect and admiration for Mike Navarre, and he has been a straightforward and honest administrator in the dealings that I have had with him. The attacks on Navarre, in my opinion, are completely unwarranted, and reflect the ugly political nature of a government bureaucracy.
Mike Navarre, you will be missed.