Police chief proud of accomplishments


City of Delaware Chief of Police Bruce Pijanowski will end his 34-year career with the city on Friday. His next journey in life will take him to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, where he will serve as assistant superintendent.

Pijanowski told The Gazette he joined the department fresh out of college in 1988 and said getting a position at the city was a dream come true at the time.

“I went to Bowling Green State University, and I graduated in spring of 1988,” Pijanowski said. “At that time you applied to as many police departments as you could, but I remember coming to Delaware … and just thinking what a nice community it was and how I’d really like to work here. I ended up getting a job offer, and 30 years later, here I am.”

In his time with the department, Pijanowski has served as a patrol officer, sergeant, detective sergeant, captain assistant chief and interim chief before he became chief of police in 2012 when then-Police Chief Russell Martin left to head up the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.

“After 34 years looking back, that’s kind of nice to look back on my career and see how many opportunities I’ve had and how much I’ve been able to learn because of that,” Pijanowski said. “Our police department has afforded me a lot of that education, experience and opportunity. It’s really impressive.”

Pijanowski said it was difficult to make the decision to leave the department for a new job.

“I hate leaving the Delaware Police Department,” he said. “I love working here. There isn’t a day that I come in here and don’t want to be here. This is a great police department and a great community.”

However, he said he’s excited to begin working as the assistant superintendent at BCI.

“This opportunity to work with Attorney General (Dave) Yost and his command staff and Superintendent (Joe) Morbitzer and all the people that I’ve either looked up to, worked with, or have a high amount of respect for is an opportunity I couldn’t say no to,” Pijanowski said. “It’s a good agency. (It was an) opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

As the assistant superintendent, Pijanowski said he will be overseeing day-to-day operations for the bureau, which serves as the state’s crime lab and criminal records keeper.

Pijanowski said he’s proud of his time at the police department and how successful it has become.

“Everyone here has embraced professional policing and has supported me in the things I wanted to do as a police administrator,” Pijanowski said.

He said he’s most proud that officers at the city treat everyone with respect.

“I’d like (my) legacy to be that I established a culture of excellence and being the best,” Pijanowski said. “We’ve always tried to guide ourselves by doing things in a way that would be viewed as the best in Ohio. We always say, ‘We’re the best police agency in Ohio, what would the best agency do?,’ and that’s what we do. I’d like to say (that’s my legacy). Be the best. This is the best department.”

Martin said Pijanowski improved the department in his time as chief of police.

“Having known him for over three decades, I’ve found him to be competent, professional and a person of integrity,” Martin said. “He’s been a great chief of police. He’s left the Delaware City Police Department in even better shape than when he found it. My fondest memories will always been working the street with a young Officer Pijanowski and being a first responder for the community of Delaware.”

Pijanowski said the support for him and the department will always be a positive memory.

“I’ve done a lot here,” he said. “The memory that will always stick with me is how much support I’ve always had here, especially as chief. Officers and employees … always rallied around what we wanted to do. Our city administration and City Council and this community has always been supportive. That’s a really good feeling (after 34 years).”

Pijanowski added moving on will be bittersweet.

“It’s going to be hard to leave,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot of work but that’s the exciting part.”

The City of Delaware announced earlier this month that City Manager Tom Homan would appoint an interim chief and reported that a search will begin for the next chief of police.

City of Delaware Chief of Police Bruce Pijanowski sits in his office inside the Delaware Justice Center on North Union Street.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2022/05/web1_DSC_1378.jpgCity of Delaware Chief of Police Bruce Pijanowski sits in his office inside the Delaware Justice Center on North Union Street. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette
Pijanowski to retire Friday

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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