New officers hope to become friendly, familiar faces

Staff Writer

For a town of just under 3,000 residents, the people of New Bremen may be used to seeing familiar faces day in and day out.
But there are two newer faces that many may not recognize and may soon become more familiar with.
The New Bremen Police Department recently hired two part-time patrolman to help keep the village safe.
Both lifelong Auglaize County residents, Mike Vorhees and Derek Chivington have experience working in other departments before transferring to New Bremen.
Twenty-eight-year-old Chivington was born and raised in St. Marys and decided public service was for him when he realized he wasn’t cut out for a uniformed desk job.
“I always enjoy helping people,” he explained. “Never really saw myself sitting in an office, day to day, always saw myself do something different. I didn’t want to do the same thing every day.
“Here I can drive around, interact with people, deal with different people everyday for the most part.”
For Vorhees, his start began at a young age, but he didn’t expect to become an officer until he was offered a job.
“I credit a friend of mine,” the Buckland native explained. “When I was in high school I always thought I wanted to be an accountant why, I don’t know because I was never really good at math but I thought I was going to go in that field.
“Buckland had a police department then … and he was the police chief and he approached me and said, ‘I’d like you to go through [the police academy].’ So I went through the academy and became a Buckland police officer.”
This wasn’t his first go with public service however. He said he began working in public service roles when he was 14 years old with the Buckland Fire Department, where he still spends time when he can. Assisting not only with fire and accident runs, Vorhees also helps with fundraising efforts.
“Retired” from the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office, he spent more than 25 years working in various departments within the force.
“I wasn’t just a road deputy all my life,” he said. “I was a road deputy, I was a township deputy for awhile, did community policing. I worked seven years in the drug unit, I was in charge of the drug unit, the Grand Lake Drug Task Force. I went in there in 2007, then became the commander in 2014 until I retired. I was a lieutenant when I retired.
“I was in charge of Detective Bureau, I was in charge of our dispatchers and I was also commander, from 2004 until I retired, of our Special Response Team.”
Chivington on the other hand is coming from a four-year part time tenure with the Minster Police Department, where he said his reason for staying in his home county is because he enjoys the small town atmosphere, and feels comfortable with the familiarity of the area.
The transition period from going from one department to another is going well, he added.
“It was kind of just getting back into the motions of everything,” Chivington said of his first days with the NBPD. “Right now its learning the roads and everything like that. As far as signals, codes, dealing with a call, I already know how to do all that, it’s just per policy, if they change anything or how they write reports here and things like that.”
Chivington completed his police training at Rhodes State College Police Academy in Lima. He also holds an associates degree in criminal justice.
For Vorhees, when his friend asked him to become an officer, he said his training was a little different because he went through a local sheriff’s office to learn the tricks of the trade.
“Thirty years ago, there was a local academy at the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office,” he said. “There were three or four of us from Auglaize County that went through it. There’s an insurance agency in Celina and that is where we went to do our night classes. I worked full time during the day and then we would go over and take these night classes and I did that for eight months.”
From there, he immediately started with the Buckland Police Department, where he spent four and a half years, but applied and interviewed with the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office and some other departments in the Lima area.
History repeated itself for the officer, as around the same time he accepted the position with the NBPD, he was also offered a job at the police department with the Lima Memorial Hospital.
A similar situation happened when he was first starting out, when he accepted a position with the sheriff’s office, the Lima Police Department also expressed interest. Through his work with the sheriff’s office however, he was able to work closely with departments in Lima area, connections he says he misses but it was just time for him to make a change.
“[The Drug Task Force] and the Special Response Team where probably my favorite,” he said. “If anything it was the comradery I had with the people I worked with. They were a great group of people that I worked with. My philosophy is teamwork. I wasn’t their boss I was their leader, and that’s a difference in my eyes.”
While only working part time, when he isn’t patrolling the streets Chivington holds a full time position with Crown Equipment. When he isn’t working either job he says he enjoys being outside, camping, riding jet skis and anything that has to do with water.
Enjoying the outdoors and working with his hands is something Vorhees says he enjoys as well. When he isn’t getting work done around his home, he also enjoys watching baseball and football. A die-hard Indians fan, he said earlier this year he and his wife were traveled to watch the Indians take on the Yankees.
His football preferences, however, may differ from many of the locals, as he says one of his favorite sports memories is watching the Wolverines play at the Big House in Ann Arbor.
As for goals for the future, Chivington hopes to one day give up his gig with Crown and become a full time officer with the NBPD. Vorhees on the other hand isn’t sure what his goals are just yet.
“There’s always a chance of goals down the road, I haven’t really decided what my goals are yet,” he said. “I take it day at a time to see what I want to do in life.”