CLEVELAND- Mayor Frank G. Jackson, Director of Public Safety Karrie D. Howard and Police Chief Calvin D. Williams announce new Police Chaplain appointments to the Cleveland Division of Police. The appointments will fill the roles of vacant Police Chaplain positions.
Chaplain Rosa Colondres Chaplain Rosa Colondres is a Pentecostal Minister and is currently serving as an Ordained Minister with the Iglesia Cristiana. Ms. Colondres is an Ordained Pastor for Juveniles and has a Bachelors in Biblical Theology. Ms. Colondres lives in the City of Cleveland and speaks Spanish fluently. Ms. Colondres hopes to help officers in crisis.
Chaplain Craig Donofrio Chaplain Craig Donofrio is a Pastor at St. James Lutheran Church in Cleveland (Old Brooklyn Area) and has been an ordained Pastor for 22 years. Mr. Donofrio served as a Chaplain in New York for First Responders after the terrorist attacks of September 11th and since then has become fond of officers and Firefighters. Mr. Donofrio understands the traumas that officers face in their duties. He is eager to help officers and looks forward to being part of the team.
Chaplain Freddie Graves Jr. Chaplain Freddie Graves Jr.is the lead Pastor of The Rock Church. Mr. Graves received a Master of Arts Degree in Black Church Studies from Ashland Seminary. His extensive professional experience includes serving as Pastor and a Minister of Worship of various churches and organizations. Mr. Graves feels it is important that the Community understand that officers are there to help others and that they are human too. Mr. Graves is excited to be a Police Chaplain.
Chaplain Theodore Kavouras Chaplain Theodore Kavouras is a Deacon at Christ Lutheran Church (Cleveland). Mr. Kavouras was elected Deacon in April of 2021. He has a Bachelor of Science from Indiana Wesleyan University. Mr. Kavouras’ father is currently a Police Chaplain and through his father he has learned of the troubles that First Responders face and wants to help officers through difficult times.
Chaplain Timothy Rosenberger Jr. Mr. Rosenberger was unable to attend today’s ceremony and will be sworn in at a later time. Chaplain Timothy Rosenberger Jr. is a Lutheran Pastor and the youngest applicant at 26 years of age. Rosenberger has a Master of Divinity Degree from United Lutheran Seminary. Mr. Rosenberger Jr. has a Doctor of Ministry from Rawlings School of Divinity at Liberty University and is the Lead Pastor at Sola Caritas Metropolitan Community Church. He currently lives and works in Ohio City. His Ministry was originally conceived for the LGTBQ Community but has grown to welcome others who may feel dislocated. He has always wanted to be a Chaplain for First Responders.
Chaplain Grady L. Stevenson Jr. Chaplain Grady Stevenson is the City of Cleveland Executive Director of the Community Relations Board where he works to promote relations among Cleveland’s racial and cultural groups. He began his career with the City of Cleveland in 1989 serving as a meter reader and later a customer service representative with the Departments of Public Works and Public Utilities. He returned to the City in 2006 to work for the Department of Community Relations as a supervisor in the areas of community outreach and crisis intervention. Mr. Stevenson worked as a liaison from the city to local families victimized by violence, planned several community events to increase positive relationships between the police force and the public, and has connected several ethnic communities within Cleveland to local resources. He also serves as the Pastor of Damascus Road Ministries. Stevenson hopes to bridge the gap between the community and the police. Mr. Stevenson studied at the Northeast Ohio School of Ministry.
Today, Mayor Frank G. Jackson swore in Alfred Johnson as the Commander of the Bureau of Special Services. Congratulations, Al.
The Commander of the Bureau of Special Services oversees the Strategic Enforcement Section including the Narcotics Unit, SWAT, the Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force, STANCE, the Gang Impact unit, the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, HIDTA, the Domestic Violence Warrant Unit and the Violent Crimes Task Force.
Commander Alfred Johnson was appointed to the Cleveland Division of Police in 2007. He served the Division of Police in the Fifth District and Third District on Basic Patrol and in the Community Services Unit, as well as within the Gang Impact Unit. Commander Alfred Johnson was promoted to Sergeant in 2017, serving as a supervisor within the Gang Impact Unit. Johnson is the recipient of multiple awards including a Chief’s Commendation, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Chief’s Outstanding Unit Award and a Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Award.
Today, Mayor Frank G. Jackson swore in Ali Pillow as the Commander of the Bureau of Special Investigations. Congratulations, Ali!
The Commander of the Bureau of Special Investigations oversees the Investigative Section which includes the Accident Investigation Unit, the Homicide Unit and the Financial Crimes Unit, the Technical Section which includes the Crime Scene and Records unit, the Forensic Unit and the Photography Unit, the Special Victims Section which includes the Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit and the Domestic Violence Unit, as well as the Administrative Section consisting of the Central Charging Office and the Criminal Statement Unit.
Commander Ali Pillow was appointed to the Division of Police in 1993. Pillow served the Division of Police in the Fifth District on Basic Patrol and in the Vice Unit before being promoted to Sergeant in 2008, to Lieutenant in 2015 and to Captain in 2020. Commander Ali Pillow has served the Division of Police as a Narcotics and Gang Unit Supervisor, an Internal Affairs Unit supervisor, as Public Information Officer, Lieutenant overseeing the Homicide Unit, as the Executive Officer of the Bureau of Special Investigations and as Acting Internal Affairs Superintendent. He has received multiple awards including the Medal of Heroism (2), Police Officer of the Year, Chief’s Special Commendation and Chief’s Outstanding Unit Award.
Commander of the Bureau of Special Services Retires
CLEVELAND – Mayor Frank G. Jackson, Director of Public Safety Karrie D. Howard and Police Chief Calvin D. Williams announce that Cleveland Police Commander Michael Connelly is retiring after serving with the Cleveland Division of Police for over thirty-one years. Commander Michael Connelly most recently served as the Commander of the Bureau of Special Investigations,overseeing the Investigative Section which includes the Accident Investigation Unit, the Homicide Unit and the Financial Crimes Unit, the Technical Section which includes the Crime Scene and Records unit, the Forensic Unit and the Photography Unit, the Special Victims Section which includes the Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit and the Domestic Violence Unit, as well as the Administrative Section consisting of the Central Charging Office and the Criminal Statement Unit.
Commander Michael Connelly was appointed to the Cleveland Division of Police in January of 1990. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2000 and to Lieutenant in 2002. In 2018, he was promoted to the rank of Commander of the Bureau of Special Investigations where he served until retiring on November 12, 2021. Commander Connelly also served with the Ohio National Guard.
“Commander Michael Connelly has served the City of Cleveland well, overseeing countless critical investigations,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “Over the years, I have seen the effort he has put forth to solve cases and take criminals off of our streets. Commander Connelly leaves a legacy of outstanding work behind as an example to those who follow him.”
“I have seen the outstanding work done by Commander Michael Connelly during my time as a prosecutor,” said Director of Public Safety Karrie D. Howard. “Commander Connelly has been an asset to the Department of Public Safety and has earned a long and happy retirement.”
“I have worked with Commander Michael Connelly as an integral part of my Command Staff for many years,” said Chief of Police Calvin D. Williams. “He has overseen some of the toughest cases the Cleveland Division of Police has been tasked with solving. I want to congratulate Mike on a great career he should be very proud of and I wish him well in his retirement.”
On November 4, 2021, the Cleveland Division of Police held an awards ceremony honoring officers who have demonstrated exemplary service. Officers received honors including the Medal of Heroism, the Distinguished Service Medal, Special Commendation Award and Chief’s Letter. During the ceremony, Chief Calvin D. Williams, who has served as Police Chief since 2014, announced he will be retiring in January of 2022, marking this ceremony the last attended by both the Chief and Mayor Frank G. Jackson.
The Police Star was presented to Retired SWAT Officer Jonathan Rodriguez, who was severely injured in the line of duty in 2020.
The Police Star was awarded posthumously to Patrol Officer David J. Fahey Jr. who was killed in the line of duty in 2017. The Police Star was awarded posthumously to Patrol Officer Vu Nguyen who died in the line of duty in 2018. The Police Star was awarded posthumously to Detective James Skernivitz who was killed in the line of duty in 2020.
Captain James Purcell was honored posthumously with the Captain Jimmy Purcell Crisis Intervention Award.
The Police Officer of the Year Award for 2019 was awarded to Patrol Officer Ismail Quran. The Police Officer of the Year Award for 2020 was awarded to Sergeant Melissa Dawson.
The Chief’s Outstanding Unit Award was presented to the Cleveland Police Bicycle Group.
The Chief’s Meritorious Service Award was awarded to Deputy Chief Joellen O’Neill.