Cleveland, OH,
13:33 PM

MetroHealth Police Chief Frank Bova Retires After Four Decades of Service

Bova picture

As he embarked on a career in law enforcement 39 years ago, MetroHealth Director and Chief of Public Safety Frank Bova got some simple advice from his father.

“My father’s motto was to ‘go in easy,’” Chief Bova remembers. “He always said, ‘Frankie, go into every situation easy, have control of yourself first of all, because it’s that person's worst day, the person you're dealing with. It’s not your worst day, it’s his. Go in easy and try to control the situation.’”

The advice has worked out well – for Chief Bova and the communities he’s served and protected for the past four decades.

Chief Bova announced earlier this month that he is retiring from police work. His last day at MetroHealth will be Friday, September 15.

MetroHealth Police Lt. Delmar Henderson will serve as interim chief until a permanent replacement is found.

“I know in my heart that it’s time. I’m not as sharp as I used to be,” says Chief Bova, who turns 63 this month. “Sometimes, new eyes and new blood – it’s a good thing.”

Chief Bova speaks from experience because law enforcement is in his blood. In the 1920s, after a short career as a professional boxer, his grandfather joined the Cleveland Police Department and kicked down doors alongside the legendary Eliot Ness. His father joined the force in 1957 and served for 30 years.

Chief Bova started his career in Cleveland as a patrolman in the 1980s. He was Warrensville Heights’ chief of police from 2000 to 2010. He then served as Cuyahoga County Sheriff and later as the county’s Chief Community Safety and Protection Officer. He became MetroHealth’s Director and Chief of Public Safety in 2017.

Together, the three generations of Bovas recorded more than 100 years of police service.

“I just hope – and this is important to me – I hope I honored my grandfather’s and father’s legacy,” Chief Bova says. “I hope that I even have half as much respect as they did.”

Among his achievements at MetroHealth, Chief Bova cites the partnerships he forged with outside entities, including the U.S. Marshals Service and the Human Trafficking Task Force.

“When I got here, the department was sort of enclosed and cut off. Now we have officers on some of those task forces, so we have connections with all our partners out there.”

Soon after arriving at MetroHealth, Chief Bova made sure all his officers were equipped with Narcan. In the years since, the department has saved more than 50 lives with the overdose-reversing drug.

He’s also proud of the comprehensive security training and safety measures in place across the system and inside The Glick Center, including the Evolv weapons detection system.

Keeping patients, visitors, and staff safe is after all, the top priority.

The happiest day for me is any day when everyone can go home to their families,” he says.

As for what’s next, Chief Bova says he’s not sure. He is going to relax for a bit, spend time with his wife, Angie, his family and six grandchildren – and then look at different ways to stay busy.

In other words, he’s taking his father’s advice: He’s welcoming retirement and will “go in easy.”

About The MetroHealth System

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through five hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers. Each day, our nearly 9,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable healthcare — through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services — that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit