© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. Announces Retirement

 Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. at a press conference on July 8, 2021.
Michael Lee
Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. at a press conference on July 8, 2021.

City of Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. announced his retirement Thursday morning after serving the city in various positions for 40 years.

Pettus said in a press release he will be retiring to focus on his family as he soon turns 70.

“Serving this city has been my honor and privilege," he said. "This is the community that made me. It is a part of who I am, and always will be.”

Pettus spent 35 years with the Columbus Division of Fire where he became the city's first African American fire chief in 2002. In 2016, Mayor Andrew Ginther appointed him as the city's public safety director. Ginther said Pettus' long career with the city has been incredible.

"Couldn't be more proud of his service, his leadership, grateful to his family for sharing him for so long with the people of Columbus," he said. "I brought him out of retirement to take this job, I knew it wasn't forever."

During Pettus' time as fire chief, the division received one of the first international accreditations by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, one of the first divisions in the U.S. to do so.

And in the past five years, Pettus has made various appointments within the city's public safety department, including the most recent historical hire of Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant, who's the city's first female African American police chief.

Pettus' last day will be Aug. 31.

Michael Lee joined WOSU in 2021, but was previously an intern at the station in 2018. He is a graduate from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism where he obtained his master's degree, and an alumnus of Ohio State University. Michael has previously worked as an intern at the Columbus Dispatch and most recently, the Chicago Sun-Times.
Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.