–by Mary Helen Darah
PUBLICATION DATE: March 05, 2019

Retiring Chief of City of Sylvania Division of Police, William H. Rhodus, began his career in 1982. He served in Washington Township before being part of the Lucas County Sheriff’s Department. He started working for the Sylvania Division of Police in 1983. He was promoted to sergeant in 1994, captain in 2002 and in April of 2010 became Chief of Police. “I have been here 35 years,” stated Chief Rhodus. “Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be a police officer. I went on a vacation with my parents to Washington D.C. We went on a tour of the FBI headquarters and that experience sparked my interest in law enforcement and community service. I went in the army for three years directly out of high school. I came out and worked in a warehouse as a forklift operator and substitute truck driver while attending college on the G.I. Bill. I received my associate degree and went into law enforcement. In 1987 I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from The University of Toledo. It’s been a great career. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
Chief Rhodus will miss serving his community. “It has been my privilege to serve the citizens of Sylvania and an honor to work with the finest men and women, not only from my department, but in northwest Ohio,” he stated. “I have loved every minute of my time here. I encourage all young men and women to explore the law.” When asked about the legacy he is leaving with the City of Sylvania Division of Police, Chief Rhodus humbly stated his position as chief has never been solely about him. “I became an officer and moved up the ranks,” he recalled. “It was never my intention to make a legacy for myself. It’s all about the officers that make a difference in our community. The department has accomplished great things.”
The chief also believes one of the most important tools an officer has is his or her ability to communicate. “I believe I have communicated well through the whole course of my career,” he said. “My first 18 years in
service were as an officer assigned to the patrol division and team commander for the SWAT Team. We eventually merged our SWAT Team of Sylvania Township with the City of Sylvania SWAT Team. I oversaw the newly merged Sylvania Metro Special Response Team as the director of operations. I truly enjoyed that time. We have the finest special response team. It was a challenging role but very rewarding. We have very dedicated and professional officers that serve in that capacity.”
One of the biggest changes the Chief has experienced through his 35 years on the force is the ever-changing technology. “Weapons have changed,” he stated. “We went from a six-shot revolver to a semi-automatic pistol, but learning new technology, such as mobile data terminals, can be a challenge. The younger officers are used to doing it, but for old timers like myself, there is a learning curve. Law enforcement continues to improve which is very exciting.”
The Chief is appreciative of the Sylvania community. “The community has been 100 percent supportive of both the police and fire departments,” stated Chief Rhodus. “Being the second safest city in the state of Ohio can be attributed to the services we provide. They do a spectacular job. I couldn’t be prouder of the departments. I am also very fortunate to have worked with top-notch and supportive mayors and city administrators.”
The chief plans on enjoying his retirement in a variety of ways. “I have been wearing a uniform since I was 18 years old,” he said. “Life moves on. You must begin to face new experiences. My wife, Ann, and I would like to spend time with our three grown children and three beautiful grandchildren. All the kids are in town and within 25 minutes of one another. I’m also looking forward to vacationing and playing golf. If other opportunities arise, I will look into them, but it’s nice, for the first time in a very long time, to not be in a hurry.”