UPDATED: Police chief’s newsletter offends some

Chief reprimanded. A satirical newsletter pilfered from a police chief’s desk has ruffled some feathers in Vermilion.
Jessica Cuffman
Oct 28, 2013
UPDATE: Vermilion’s mayor has reprimanded the police chief for writing a satirical newsletter containing inappropriate content.

Mayor Eileen Bulan said a letter of reprimand will be placed in Chief Chris Hartung’s personnel file, to document his misconduct.

Bulan became aware of the newsletter, “The VPD Insider,” after copies were anonymously mailed to area newspapers.

When Hartung returned to Vermilion Monday after a week-long training engagement, he met with Bulan to discuss the four-page document.

“Although your purported newsletter was authored in jest and not intended for public distribution, the contents of the same offended certain individuals,” Bulan stated in the letter.

“You explained that it was not your intent to embarrass any officer or employee of the police department, which is an explanation I believe,” she said. “But to avoid any further incidents, refrain from authoring any other like publication.”

Hartung readily admitted to authoring the document, which he has since said was an inappropriate use of work time and equipment.

He told the Register he wrote it in about 15 minutes during a lunch break. He declined to offer any further comment this week.

In one story, the satirical newsletter suggested the police department saved money on energy costs by removing a refrigerator from an employee’s office. Another story said the police department was grappling with a crisis one day because no one could decide where to buy lunch.

When asked about “The VPD Insider,” a four-page document mailed anonymously to the Register, police Chief Chris Hartung confirmed he did author the piece.

“I wrote it in about 15 minutes on a lunch break,” he said. “Creative writing is one of my fortes.

“I remember, I was actually eating a I guess.” Quarter Pounder with Cheese,” Hartung said.

The newsletter jabs at department employees, local politicians and the department’s fundraisers for the police dog. It was likely an inappropriate use of work time and equipment, Hartung said.

“It was in my desk,” he said. “Someone decided to poke around, The single edition of the newsletter, dated July 31, 2013, was never distributed through the department, he said. Any consequences of authoring the newsletter — which makes light of hairlines, intelligence and eating habits of employees and former employees — will be up to Mayor Eileen Bulan.

“I’m sure I’ll be in her office Monday,” Hartung said.

Made aware of the document this week, Bulan said she’ll meet with Hartung Monday when he returns from a week of training.

“We’re definitely going to look it over more and go from there,” she said. “I’ll read the newsletter and then hear background on it.” “It certainly isn’t appropriate to be doing it on the city computer,” she said.

It’s unclear what consequences Hartung may face.

Download the newsletter below, harsh language included, viewer discretion is advised



Shook my head in disbelief when bnjjad used the phrase "team moral higher" Calling co-workers D* heads, F'ers, A**es and other derogatory things?

As I stated the comments on this shows how low our society has falling in terms of morality and common sense.

Bigger fish to fry? I agree, HE SHOULD BE DOING HIS JOB
And when is it appropriate for tax dollars to be used to have fun with?


TBH. I didn't actually read the newsletter until after I commented. But my thoughts still stand for having fun in the workplace. It does increase team moral.

And when is it appropriate for Company dollars to be used to have fun with or use for personal time? EVERYONE does it.


It's really disrespectful stuff, and immature. Our security shouldn't be entrusted with him. That's sacred. He's evidently not professional enough to hold his position. What if this kind of disrespect plays out in his management style and enforcement actions? How could it not? He needs to be fired or demoted. He's not a leader to be entrusted with our safety and security.

Pterocarya frax...

How can a commanding officer expect or command respect and loyalty from his staff after insulting many/most of them? Add that to the clear violations of law for personal use of city property. Is this the quality of person you want as your police chief?

Fire him!


THIS JUST IN!!!!BREAKING NEWS!!!!! It has been discovered that Police Officers and human and not robots.

I find it odd that the Register acts like stuff like this is not created at every workplace. The SR should look through Franko's (AKA The Big Kahuna) files as well as a couple guys in advertising that I will not name since they may still work there.

Hey kids, remember Franko? Maybe this will remind you... http://www.vindy.com/videos/2013...


Yes, I remember Franko. Wasn't he editor while Jim Hofmann was publisher? Hey kids remember Hofmann? He did three years for sexually abusing a little boy in Huron when that dang Huron police report got leaked by Erie Voices.

Maybe Chief Hartung could resurrect Erie Voices. He's a better writer.


Thanks 2Tim! I have been trying to think of Hofmann's name, ever since the Register let the felon from the press room write his own column. Everyone was commenting on the trash that has been employed there, but it is hard to beat Ole Jim, the child molester. He wasn't just a basement working, minimum wage guy, he was at the top, big publisher. Now he has a mugshot on the sex offenders website.

mimi's word

I would like to know how many commenting here have NEVER done anything personal on the clock during work hours....call from a spouse or child, looked up a bill or info on internet, called a dr's ofice or set up an appointment, etc. If anyone can say they have not is a liar.


Exactly. Company Property includes all computers, phones and data. Everyone at my office would be fired years ago if they were terminated for use of Company Property for personal use. Yes they do agree not to use it for personal use when they are hired, but it doesn't stop them.


If any of you have never worked in a Law Enforcement capacity, then in my opinion, you have no right to act so outraged. If you only had a clue what these men and women have to deal with on a daily basis, you would applaud the Chief forstill having such a great sense of humor and outlook. Now granted, I'm guessing a couple of the officers may have been offended, but by the sounds of it, they're probably deserving of the Chief's critique. I found it hilarious and when he retires, I think his second career should be in comedy--whether stand-up or writing it--and hell, I don't know a darn thing about the VPD. I agree with Mimi-- remember when you point a finger you have three pointing back at yourself. Also, shame on the person that didn't have the guts to send it in with his/her signature at the bottom. Or, do what LE is taught to do, follow the chain of command if you have a beef.


Sorry, your logic doesn't hold water. YOur saying that because someones job is stressful this excuses their behavior which is offensive, filthy, derogatory and creates a spirit of mistrust?

And I have FOUR VERY CLOSE Relatives and five friends who are in law enforcement and they would consider this a violation of trust and their oaths.


Wasn't going into his desk and taking it theft?

Simple Enough II

I find his satire top notch! maybe he was blowing off some steam aand having some fun while doing it. Wonder who was the douche nozzle who was rooting through his desk?


Its the TAX PAYERS DESK, his work was paid for by tax payers, his time is paid by taxpayers, the computer was paid by taxpayers including the paper and ink!


How do you know when he did it or where he did it? Maybe it was done on his own time on his own computer and brought into the station to show? Man truth2u..get a sense of humor will u? Or are you Amish?


I can't imagine how he wrote it at home when he says he did it on his lunch break, how many hours does that department get for lunch to leave, go buy food, take it home and eat and then write this paper. Im sure most will agree that this paper took much longer to write than 15 minutes.

There is nothing humorous about this paper, its demoralizing, filthy and disgusting. Would you allow your child to say these things about others? If not then why is it acceptable for a POLICE CHIEF to say such things?

“I wrote it in about 15 minutes on a lunch break,” he said. “Creative writing is one of my fortes.

“I remember, I was actually eating a I guess.” Quarter Pounder with Cheese,” Hartung said.


Considering the content is actually pretty small, about 15 minutes to write it i would guess.

and last time I checked, a Police Chief has to be over 18 so whether you let your child say it is null and void.


Just because its the Tax Payers Desk you do NOT go through your supervisors desk. That should be just as much as an offense as this is. What if the person had taken something a bit more important like a wallet or ID badge.

Heck if I used that excuse for the companies that I am invested in (I invested in this company, its my right!) I would have been charged with something I am sure.

Colonel Angus

At least he was awake while on the clock. We need more cops like him in Sandusky.

G George I du kno

It was funny however, who wants their boss taking cheap shots at all his employees? And this took him way longer than 15 minutes while he ate his quarter pounder! I bet if an officer spent time at work writing tasteless jokes about him they would be in hot water! Unprofessional and should be fired!

G George I du kno

It was funny however, who wants their boss taking cheap shots at all his employees? And this took him way longer than 15 minutes while he ate his quarter pounder! I bet if an officer spent time at work writing tasteless jokes about him they would be in hot water! Unprofessional and should be fired!

And it looks like he still has the quarter pounder in his cheeks still!

Clark W. Griswald

Who cares? This is hilarious! As a vermilion taxpayer, I approve.


Yeah Clark!!!!!


July 31, 2013 Volume 1 Issue 1

9 pages total but only 4 pages shown.

Time Stamp of the 4 pages: 9/27/2013 8:48 AM


What is the source of the time stamp?
Does the time stamp represent the date copies were made of the originals?

Who went through the police chiefs desk?
Does the police chief have the original 9 pages?
Why are 5 of 9 pages missing?
Did the person who stole the satire piece use police equipment to make copies?
Why did the Sandusky Register only show 4 of the 9 pages?

I feel that somebody within the Vermilion Police Department wants the chief gone. Why?

Where were all of you to chastise the former Ottawa County Sheriff who used public funds for personal use and faced no criminal charges?

looking around

Ah yes......the missing five pages........Vermiliongate


Where's Bob Woodward when you need him? Too funny looking around!


Read the "newsletter". It's below high school level.


How many of you use Facebook when working on the job? Should Facebook be used on your own time?


"Chief Rob Hickman uses Facebook page to bash Register's request for public"


Who in their right mind would believe he is telling the truth when he says he did this in 15 minutes? Why even make such an unbelievable statement?


I am curious if the actions against the police chief has anything to do with the election for Vermilion's mayor?

"VERMILION — November will bring a rematch at the ballot box for two candidates who hope to become the next mayor of Vermilion.
Mayor Eileen Bulan and her predecessor, Jean Anderson, will square off again at the polls."