Police Chief Tim Zdanski Dies After Cardiac Arrest

Tim Zdanski, longtime Bethesda police chief and village administrator, died Thursday.

Zdanski had been visiting the Columbus area with his wife, Penny, days earlier when he suffered cardiac arrest. He was hospitalized but died of complications from that incident.

Zdanski had been in charge of the Bethesda Police Department for 37 years and was named the Belmont County Police Chief of the Year in 2006.

He also was instrumental creating the Sexual Predator Internet Initiative task force, which now includes officers from several local departments.

“It’s a big shock. It doesn’t seem real to us at this point,” said Bethesda Mayor Martin Lucas. “The devotion that man had toward his family and community, words just can’t describe it. He devoted his career for 37 years to the community – that just goes to show his devotion and commitment to law enforcement and others. My thoughts and sympathy are with his family and the community at this time.”

Judy Jenewein, who served as a councilwoman and mayor during Zdanski’s tenure, talked about his long service to the community.

“I’ve worked with him since 1975,” she said. “We were having a difficult time with our police department, and he was just 21 when he applied for the job. I was skeptical – that’s really young. … I just wasn’t sure that was the direction, we needed to go.

“Some other members of council, particularly Ray Oden, supported him and thought he’d be fine,” she added. “Obviously, Ray was right and I was wrong.”

Zdanski also worked with local schools to educate children about the dangers found online, both through the use of computers and cell phones. Under his guidance, the Bethesda Police Department was recognized as Child Advocate of the Year in 2008.

Information from the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department and Kelly Kemp Braido & Patron Funeral Homes indicates visitation will be held 1-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Monday and from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. funeral service, all at Union Local High School Commons.

Interment will be at Ebenezer Cemetery in Bethesda.