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Reusing 16-year-old headline: Kerr becomes fire chief, Diekhoff becomes chief of police in Bloomington



Bloomington, Indiana – Mike Hostetler, the chief of police in Bloomington at the time, was scheduled to retire at the end of 2007.

Roger Kerr, who was acting as interim chief at the time, was Bloomington’s fire chief. Jeff Barlow had gone to take a fire chief position in Kentucky.

When then-mayor Mark Kruzan was getting ready to begin his second term in office in mid-December 2007, he was wrapping up his fourth year as Bloomington’s executive. Having defeated Republican David Sabbagh in a local election, Democrat Kruzan was feeling confident.

At that point, Kruzan declared that Kerr would become the fire chief indefinitely. Simultaneously, he said that he would elevate Mike Diekhoff from his role as department captain to police chief.

The two appointments resulted in two front-page headlines, NEW CHIEFS, in an all-caps package that appeared in the Herald-Times on December 19, 2007. The headlines for each item were “Diekhoff to lead police” and “Kerr secures fire post.”

Sixteen years later, those headlines could have essentially been the same ones that ran in the previous weeks.

Diekhoff is still the chief of police in Bloomington, thanks to the appointment of Kerry Thomson as the next mayor. Additionally, Thomson named Kerr to succeed the departing fire chief Jason Moore in an interim capacity.

The Bloomington Board of Public Safety confirmed both individuals last Friday in their respective capacities as Chief of Police and Interim Chief of the Fire Department.

The mayor picks the police and fire chiefs, but the board of public safety must approve their appointment, as Thomson’s recently appointed corporation attorney, Margie Rice informed the board on Friday. The board included those issues on their agenda for this reason. Kerr attended the meeting, but Diekhoff did not.

Kerr stated that Diekhoff was named police chief concurrently with his initial appointment as fire chief, which occurred at the end of 2007.

Kerr and Diekhoff were enrolled in the same Bloomington High School North class, according to news reports at the time.

Diekhoff has held the position of chief continuously since the beginning of 2008, but Kerr is returning to lead the fire department.

Beginning in 2008, Kerr held the position of permanent chief of staff until the end of 2014. Following his resignation as fire chief in November 2014, Kerr assumed the role of battalion chief. That came just after Kruzan declared he would not run for mayor of Bloomington again.

On January 2, 2015, then-deputy chief Todd Easton took over as fire chief, filling the void left by Kerr.

John Hamilton began looking for a new fire chief after taking over as mayor, but Easton remained in his position until a suitable candidate was identified. According to Bloomington’s online payroll records, Easton left the company on September 6, 2016.

Jason Moore was the new fire chief that Hamilton appointed.

In early December, Thomson declared that she intended to keep Moore on as one of her appointees; nevertheless, Moore quit a few days later.

In other business handled by the five-member board of public safety on Friday, the three members present elected their officers for the coming year. The board chair will be Barbara McKinney and the board vice chair will be Rachel Guglielmo. Rounding out the trio on Friday was Natalia Galvan.

Bloomington’s Board of Public Safety has one vacancy due to the resignation of Kim Gray and one upcoming open slot due to Isak Asare’s planned resignation. Asare has now started his service as a Bloomington City Council member. All boards of public safety positions are appointed by the mayor.

The Herald-Times archives from 1943 to 2013 in the form of page scans are available through the Monroe County Public Library.


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