Deputy chief recalls memorable career as he says goodbye to Cleveland

CLEVELAND – Packing up after 32 years isn’t easy, but somehow Police Deputy Chief Ed Tomba has managed to do it.

“My notes, my vest, some of my belongings,” says Tomba, as he explains what’s in a box near the door of his almost vacant office.

A desk, table, a few boxes, and a poster that asks for information on the unsolved murder of Aliza Sherman is about all that remains.

“That’s a case I would like to solve,” Tomba said, as he pointed to the poster. “It’s a very unusual case and I got to know the family of this wonderful woman very well.”

Sherman was killed in downtown Cleveland in March 2013, when she went to her divorce attorney’s office. A videotape shows the attack, but so far the killer has escaped justice.

Tomba said other Cleveland detectives will continue to work the case once he leaves next week.

Tomba’s last day in Cleveland will be Sept. 18. He will start his new job as the chief of Middleburg Heights later next week.

“I’m going to miss this job, and all the people I have worked with,” Tomba said Thursday afternoon. “I have a lot of fond memories.”

Tomba stresses he will miss the thousands of residents he served over the past three decades, many who have made lasting impressions on him, especially Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight -- the three women who were missing for about a decade and were found in May 2013.

“Being able to be with Gina’s mom and her aunt walking into the emergency room to see her for the first time in 10 years is something I will never, ever forget,” Tomba recalled.

He said helping to solve the 1984 murder of 14-year-old Gloria Pointer was also something he won’t soon forget.

“I got to know Gloria’s mother, Yvonne, who has done so much for many victims and I am glad we were able to make an arrest for her,” Tomba said.

And he also remembered that one year, 2016, that included a convention, a championship, and a huge parade.

“I just loved,” Tomba said.

He admits he was a little worried weeks prior to the Republican National Convention but said the help the city received from law enforcement officers here and around the country helped make the event a huge success.

Tomba says he also has a message for all those living and working in the city of Cleveland.

“Thanks everybody,” Tomba said. “It has been an honor and I am, and will always be, proud to be a Cleveland police officer.”