Lori Cope

Mansfield Safety Service Director Lori Cope is leaving the position on Dec. 7. (Richland Source file photo)

MANSFIELD -- Lori Cope has spent her career helping local residents, the last decade as Mansfield's safety service director.

She hopes that doesn't change when she leaves her position overseeing the city's police and fire departments on Dec. 7. She declined comments about her future, but said she hopes to remain in public service.

"I’ve spent the majority of my adult life in public service to the citizens of Mansfield," said Cope, a former Mansfield police officer. "The relationships I’ve built here will last a lifetime.

"The citizens and business leaders have come to trust me and I don’t want that to change. People reach out to me day and night and I respond," she said Sunday.

Cope started her law enforcement career in 1993 as a city parks officer and became a patrol officer in 1996.

During her MPD career, Cope worked in community policing, the DARE program and in hostage negotiation. She left the department after a crash in 2005, opening a driving school in 2008. She sold the business when Theaker was elected mayor and accepted the safety service position.

A Lucas High School graduate, Cope earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

Mayor Tim Theaker, halfway through his third and final term in office, will need to find a replacement to oversee the departments, though he has placed Public Works Director David Remy in the slot on an interim basis, on top of his current duties.

The new director will face challenges, according to Cope, including "being willing to stand strong to ensure funding for the safety forces."

She said the new director will need to learn how to budget adequate funding for police, fire and 9-1-1 services and "listen to the citizens who have always been willing to put their hard-earned tax dollars towards our  safety forces to get the response that they require and deserve."

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City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"