Krall did not say what he will do after retirement, but he told WTOL 11 we won’t be seeing him in law enforcement in northwest Ohio again.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Retiring Toledo Police Chief George Krall remembers his first day at the police academy like it was yesterday. It was December 14, 1990, when he and his fellow cadets were standing by the village. Owens Community College in minus 20 temperatures, doing push-ups, realizing that the next six months will not be easy.

“Fast forward 32 years, I would say to the younger version of me, keep your mouth shut, learn as much as you can from as many people as you can, and go out every day to try to help at least one person,” Kral said. .

Kral worked his way up the ladder at the Toledo Police Department. Along the way, he said he and former Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins have “run the gamut together.”

When Krall was hired, Collins was the president of his union. He was promoted to sergeant and worked in internal affairs, and Collins will confront him during the hearing.

They went from working together as a representative and patrolman to enemies as a commander and union president, Kral said. Collins retired and was elected as the Toledo City Council Representative for District Two – Krall County.

There was friendship. There was mutual respect between Collins and Krall.

“When I first developed the inclination he thought of [naming me police chief]I said, ‘Let me be boss for an hour,'” Krall said. “That’s all I want, just an hour so I can do one shift. He said you’re going to be boss a lot longer than an hour.”

In January 2015, Collins promoted Kral to chiefand died just a month later after suffering a coronary artery blockage while driving on city streets during a Super Bowl Sunday snowstorm.

Kral led the Toledo Police Department through many ups and downs. He said that without a doubt his hardest days were the loss of officers Anthony Dia and Brandon Stalkerwho died in the line of duty.

As with many professions over the years, there have been changes in the internal culture. But when it comes to policing, he said there are still times when leniency doesn’t help.

“The police force has changed 180 degrees since I first arrived,” Kral said. – There are moments when something happens, and when we are called to the scene, and there is chaos, chaos, and there are consequences for life and death, we have to take responsibility, and then we start shouting and giving orders.”

Not only is there a new dynamic when it comes to working with his police force, but also with the public, Kral said.

He said mental health had become a major issue of consideration and concern within the department and beyond. And he points the finger at the COVID-19 pandemic as the No. 1 reason.

“I know this is a convenient scapegoat, but COVID-19 has really done a lot for this country,” Krall said. “If you look at the numbers before COVID, Toledo would average 30-31 homicides a year, and then COVID comes along and it puts our nation in a place it hasn’t been in a century. You can’t be with your friends, you can’t go to dinner, you can’t go to the movies. We don’t have to do what, we’re social creatures. And I think with the mandates and everything, I think people have maybe just lost it a little bit.”

In the past three years, the number of murders in Toledo has been near a record. In 2020, 62 murders were registered, in 2021 – 70. And in 2022, there were 65 of them.

The city, in cooperation with the police and other community partners, has launched an effort to combat the violence. But looking ahead, Kral said the community needs to get involved to return the City of Glass to a place where we can all live in peace.

“I promise you … out of the murders that are currently unsolved … there are a dozen people who know who killed each of these victims,” ​​Krall said. — And I understand that whistleblowers get stitches, but there must come a moment when we as a community say: “I’m done, I’ll draw a line in the sand and do the right thing.”

Krall did not say what he will do after retirement, but he told WTOL 11 we won’t be seeing him in law enforcement in northwest Ohio again.

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