BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — Former Maumee Police Chief Jim MacDonald has been named the city’s 2018 Outstanding Citizen. He will receive his award on Thursday, March 7 during the 44th annual Hometown Hero Award Banquet.
“It’s very humbling for me,” he said of the award.
MacDonald joined the Maumee police department in 1988, then rose through the ranks of sergeant and lieutenant. In 2013, he was named chief of police, replacing Bob Zinc. MacDonald focused on and is credited with moving the department forward in the areas of technology, efficiency, transparency, preparedness, accountability and community engagement. Last November, he retired from duty.
The distinction of being named Outstanding Citizen follows a long line of community members who have made significant contributions to the city. Nominated by several Maumee City Schools staff, including Superintendent Dr. Todd Cramer, MacDonald is credited with not only maintaining a strong relationship with the school district, but also with residents and businesses in the community. He has demonstrated this through maintaining longstanding programs, such as D.A.R.E. and the school resource officer program, as well as helping to organize a school safety night designed to share safety protocol while looking for new ways to improve safety, Cramer said. MacDonald also implemented a program to check on the safety of senior citizens living in the community as well as face-to-face meetings with business owners.
“Given the number of serious events that have taken place across our country and in our community, I always knew Chief MacDonald would be there to not only address the immediate need, but to also be proactive, as well,” Dr. Cramer wrote in his nomination letter.
In addition to his work as a police officer, MacDonald has also served as an announcer for boys and girls varsity basketball games at Maumee High School. For the past eight years, MacDonald is credited with announcing over 170 varsity games, something MHS Athletic Director Matt Szyndler says he has done with consistency and integrity.
“With Jim, I know I can count on him doing a great job, night in and night out,” Szyndler wrote in his nomination letter. “It also doesn’t hurt to have a former police chief on hand for well-attended school sporting events.”
MacDonald said that supporting the schools is as important to him as supporting the community at large.
“Anything I can do for the kids is good. We moved here to Maumee in 1982 because we wanted a community that offered a good education for our kids. Maumee has that small-town feel, but it’s also close to a larger city, and we like that,” he said.
The Outstanding Citizen Award will be presented at the 44th annual Maumee Hometown Hero Award banquet on Thursday, March 7 at The Pinnacle in Maumee.
Other award winners include: Bridge Award, Jim Durliat; River Award, Meredith Party Rentals and Michelle and Rob Fairchiuld; and Golden Apple Winners Sarah Otis, Jim Windnagle and Chris Noward.
Doors open at 5:00 p.m. The banquet begins at 6:00 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets cost $40.00 and may be purchased from the Maumee Chamber of Commerce by calling (419) 893-5805.