Mayor Arthur Campbell & City Council members are pleased to make the following announcement:
Following a nationwide search by GovHR USA out of Northbrook, Illinois, Cecilia E. Ashe of Wilmington Delaware was sworn in as the City of Milford’s first female Chief of Police on February 13, 2023 by the Honorable Noel Eason Primos, Delaware Superior Court Judge.
Chief Ashe spent the past seventeen years with the Wilmington Police Department where she was assigned the Inspector of Operations by then Wilmington Police Chief Robert Tracey. She has a combined twenty-seven plus years of law enforcement experience, which includes time spent as a police officer in Arlington County, Virginia.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and is currently working on her Master’s in Administration of Criminal Justice and Organizational Leadership, both with Wilmington University. She is a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Policing Session 70.
Having advanced through various leadership roles, Chief Ashe gained extensive knowledge and experience of collective bargaining and labor contracts from both sides of the table.
She oversaw a budget of over $65 million while at Wilmington Police Department. She was recognized on multiple occasions for her ability to apply business principles, along with common sense strategies, to the department’s budget, that ended in an impressive cost savings of millions of dollars for the first time in over ten years. In addition, her relationships at the state and federal levels were instrumental in the successful acquisition of approximately $8 million in grant funding to Wilmington Police Department.
Chief Ashe was most recently recognized by the National Institute of Justice for her leadership, oversight, and strategic planning while implementing Group Violence Intervention. She led enforcement actions on group/gang-involved violence, requiring collaboration with local, state, and federal law enforcement, as well as coordination with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and State of Delaware lead prosecutors. This resulted in the successful arrest and prosecution of several violent gang members within the City of Wilmington. By the end of 2022, she was instrumental in a 58% reduction in homicides and nearly 30% reduction in shooting incidents, thus demonstrating a record of success in developing effective relationships at all levels of the organization. This outcome simultaneously increased homicide clearance rates from 12% to over 67% and reduced citizen complaints against police officers by 22%.
One of Chief Ashe’s goals will be to continue advancing Milford Police Department’s training and knowledge of evidence-based research in law enforcement, and furthering its commitment to providing police services led with empathy and compassion for the citizens of the City of Milford. Her strategy will be to focus on a balanced approach to officer health and wellness, while treating officers in a fair, firm, and consistent manner, but with compassion and respect. In turn, this produces officers who feel valued and seen, while inspired to treat those they serve as a self- aware, empathic, effective listener, and communicator.
Chief Ashe looks forward to leading the City of Milford Police Department in the future and is honored and excited to be named the next Chief of Police.
“Chief Ashe is an excellent value-add for the City of Milford,” Mayor Archie Campbell said, “Her strong leadership skills, coupled with her vast experience in law enforcement and her commitment to excellence will serve the city well in the coming years. We are excited to witness what Chief Ashe brings to the table and the City Council and I look forward to working with her as a team that will make Milford a safe, friendly place to live.”
Prior to taking the Oath of Office at the Council meeting, Ashe was approved by Council to oversee the thirty-seven officer-manned department that serves approximately 12,000 residents within the boundaries of the City of Milford.
She will also now oversee any final plans related to the successful $20 million referendum for a new police facility, approved by a 390 to 187 vote of City of Milford voters on January 26, 2021.
She succeeds Police Chief Kenneth Brown who retired August 1, 2022, after a 34-year career with Milford Police Department. Captain Edward Huey has served as the Interim Chief since Brown’s retirement.