New Cleveland Chief of Police, Safety Director Sworn In a Week After Karrie Howard Resigns

Howard bowed out last week after a Fox 8 investigation into a possible infringement of city policy

click to enlarge Former Chief of Police Wayne Drummond was sworn in as interim Director of Public Safety, replacing former director Karrie Howard who resigned last week following an investigation into an infringement of city policy. - Mark Oprea
Mark Oprea
Former Chief of Police Wayne Drummond was sworn in as interim Director of Public Safety, replacing former director Karrie Howard who resigned last week following an investigation into an infringement of city policy.
Dorothy "Annie" Todd, the former deputy chief of Cleveland Police, was sworn in by Mayor Justin Bibb as the city's new chief of police Thursday morning.

And former Chief of Police Wayne Drummond was also installed as the city's new Director of Public Safety, a move that comes a week after former director Karrie Howard resigned, which came days after a Fox 8 investigation showed Howard admitting to violating a city policy he claimed he was unaware of.

Mayor Justin Bibb, who swore in both Drummond and Todd on Tuesday, framed Howard's step-down more as a natural path for the former director, who had held his post since 2020, rather than a result of a controversy.

"Karrie and I spoke frequently about the future of the department, and we often had frank conversations about the leadership that was needed for the department to be successful moving forward," Bibb said. "Specifically, to reach our ambitious goals, public safety must be focused on delivering for residents and free from distraction. And there must be a high degree of confidence at every level to ensure collaboration."

"Karrie felt that now was the right time to make a change in leadership," Bibb added, "and made the difficult and hard decision to resign."
click to enlarge Dorothy "Annie" Todd is the city's newest chief of police, the second woman to hold this role in the city's history. - Mark Oprea
Mark Oprea
Dorothy "Annie" Todd is the city's newest chief of police, the second woman to hold this role in the city's history.
On February 22, Fox 8's Peggy and Ed Gallek revealed that Assistant Director of Public Safety Jakimah Dye had crashed her city car with her children inside in a violation of City of Cleveland policy that states "employees shall not transport any person other than City employees."

In a follow-up interview that day, Howard told the Galleks that he was oblivious to such city policy. He himself, he told Peggy Gallek, had done the same as Dye. “So, I’ve had my son in the car," he told Fox 8. "We reviewed the policy. I didn’t know their was a policy.”

Regardless of why Howard resigned, the new roles at CPD and Public Safety come at a seemingly tough time for both departments, when battling violent crime—as both Todd and Drummond said—remains a top priority, all while the CPD navigates an ongoing officer shortage that Bibb himself believes he can budget his way out of. (The city's still short about 424 officers, News 5 found.)

"Our new incentives around recruitment and retention, I think, are going to show real dividends to the CPD," Bibb said. "We're optimistic that we'll have a sizable large police class by the end of this first quarter to replenish the ranks."

Todd began her career as a CPD traffic controller in the late 1990s, was acting deputy chief since 2022, after taking Joellen O’Neill's role, and was commander of CPD's Third District for three years before that. She is the second woman to hold the chief of police role in Cleveland's history.

Though less vocal than Drummond, Todd told press in City Hall's Red Room on Thursday that, as chief, she's prioritizing preventing juvenile crime, along with convincing the new Department of Justice monitors of "the progress we're making and made throughout the years" with the Consent Decree.

All three told press that the near formation of Cleveland's own Gun Crime Intelligence Center, a copy of a similar center in Cincinnati, is the city's best bet for taking guns used for criminal activity off the streets—a nod to those used in the West 6th and Public Square shootings downtown last summer.

Bibb himself fashioned Cleveland as safer than it was three, four years ago, even with 2023's 200 homicides clocked in. "We've seen a 14 percent reduction in homicides in out city," he said, since 2020.

As for Dye, the assistant director still has her job in the Department of Public Safety. She's not allowed to drive her city car during an ongoing internal investigation.
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Mark Oprea

Mark Oprea is a staff writer at Scene. For the past seven years, he's covered Cleveland as a freelance journalist, and has contributed to TIME, NPR, the Pacific Standard and the Cleveland Magazine. He's the winner of two Press Club awards.
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