Salem Mayor Brad Nash today announced his appointment of John J. (Joe) Chase as the next police chief for the City of Salem, according to a press release.

Appointee Chase has been with the department since 1997 and since 2011 at the rank of sergeant. He has over 22 years of law enforcement experience and has worked with the FBI, DEA, U.S. Marshal’s Service and various state and local law enforcement agencies. His certifications include Firearms Instructor, K-9 Handler, Field Training Officer, and Academy Instructor.

Five applications were received with two selected as finalists for interviews by a panel comprised of local law enforcement from outside the city along with city officials.

Mayor Nash said a timely decision was necessary given the announced retirement of Keith Steelman in February. Nash’s appointment was approved by the board of aldermen during a Jan. 6 closed session.

Nash said, "I am pleased that the selection process has successfully concluded with the appointment of Joe as Salem’s next police chief. I have every confidence he will distinguish himself early on as a visionary and effective community leader. His experience and management abilities are an excellent fit for the department at this point in its history. He will be a valued addition to our management team.

“I appreciate the service and leadership that retiring Chief of Police Keith Steelman has provided over the years.

“I also want to say 'thank you' to the many citizens and other stakeholders who provided me with their sincere and heartfelt opinions in response to this search."

Appointee Chase grew up in the Salem area with his parents Virginia and Lyal Chase. A devoted family man, Chase lives in Salem with his children and fiancée Charity.

Chase will commence his duties on Feb. 15. Steelman is slated to retire Feb. 14.