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Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther announces the city’s next public safety director

The appointment comes after the city’s former Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. retired earlier this week.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther announced Robert Clark will serve as the city’s new director of public safety. 

Clark most recently served as the senior superintendent at Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, where he also worked as an adjunct professor. Prior to that, Clark worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

A spokesperson with the City of Columbus confirmed back in May that Clark was one of nine finalists being considered to serve as the city’s next chief of police. Ultimately, the position was given to current Chief of Police Elaine Bryant. 

Clark now steps into the position of director for the city’s Department of Public Safety, formerly held by Ned Pettus Jr. 

Pettus retired earlier this week after working with the City of Columbus for 40 years, 35 of which were spent with the Columbus Division of Fire. 

Pettus was appointed safety director by Ginther in 2016. In the five years since, Pettus oversaw several changes in public safety including the implementation of body-worn cameras for Columbus police officers and the installation of the ShotSpotter gunfire detection system in four Columbus neighborhoods. 

According to Clark, his decision to progress in public safety stemmed from the fatal shooting of his father in 1980. 

"I got to see the individual who killed my father walk around the streets as I was a police officer," said Clark.   

From 2010-2016, Clark aided in solving 650 cold cases with the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI.  

"I know Robert's executive leadership experience, his commitment to change for the common good, and his lived experience will position him for success," said Ginther. 

You can watch Friday’s announcement in the player above: 

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