It didn’t take East Canton long to fill the police department’s vacant role of Chief following the March resignation of long-time chief Derrick Blake.

At Monday’s (May 2) village council meeting, Tom Hinerman was voted unanimously to be the next police chief of East Canton.

He currently serves as a sergeant in a small village southeast of Akron - Lakemore; a village of just under 3,000 residents. He’s been with them since 2006. Hinerman takes over East Canton’s department, which serves roughly 1,500 residents.

Hinerman will be paid $25/hour, making him the highest paid municipal employee in the village of East Canton.

Mayor Dave Spencer said they received a lot of  applications for the position, but feel Hinerman was the best fit for the village.

Hinerman is excited about the new opportunity.

“I was excited [about the new position],” he said. “I’m still excited. I can’t wait to get started. I’m thrilled to death.”

He said the time was right to move into a leadership role.

“I’ve been doing this for over 20 years and I thought it was time to move up,” Chief Hinerman said. “I grew up in Stark County and the job just appealed to me to come back and work in Stark County where he grew up at.”

Hinerman has goals in place that he hopes will happen over time.

“I need personnel for one,” he said. “I would like to see us grow in some training. We need to get the community to support, have a professional police department and treat people right and just move forward.

When asked why they went with an outside candidate and not a promotion within the department, Mayor Spencer said none of the current force have full-time or leadership experience.

Hinerman will takeover as the new chief on May 17 as he works out his notice with the Lakemore Police Department, who he said has prepared him for this moment.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to work under two really good chiefs,” Hinerman noted. “[They’re] very knowledgeable. I’ve learned a lot from them. It’s kind of hard for me to leave, but in the same sense, I have to think of my family and move forward.”

Hinerman said the Lakemore Police Department provides officers with a lot of tasks to perform along with training exercises, which he plans to bring to East Canton.