By Linda Dillman
A standing room only crowd looked on as interim police chief Michael Ratliff was sworn in as the new Madison Township police chief at the Aug. 21 Madison Township trustee meeting
Four fellow police officers were also promoted and two elevated to detective status.
Ratliff previously served as a sergeant before being named interim chief on June 19 following former chief Greg Ryan’s retirement.
The trustees expected the search for Ryan’s replacement to take three to four months. However, the trustees decided to fast-track the process and hired from within the ranks of the police department.
Officers James Dean and Victor Boyd were promoted to sergeant. Dean’s father—Hebron Police Chief D. James Dean—pinned on his son’s sergeant bars during the ceremony.
“This is a proud day for me, my family and my son,” said Chief Dean. “He’s worked a long time and his day has come.”
Acting Administrative Captain Ken Braden was sworn in as captain by Ratliff, who also introduced Keith Mallory and Nate Schiffel as the police department’s newest detectives.
“I’m proud to see the officers here in unison,” Ratliff said. “As we move forward, you set the example.”
Other Madison Township news
•Resident Nancy Evans said a fundraiser community volunteers held in July to benefit the police department’s K9 unit was hampered by a summer storm.
“It was a little disappointing that we didn’t have a good turnout,” said Evans, “but I’m not going to give up. We’re going to do this again. Those who were there were impressed by what this K9 unit does.”
Evans said canine officer JT is close to retirement age and the process of replacing the dog is an expensive. Volunteers raised $1,300 through donations from individuals and organizations.
•Residential complaints of additional traffic from warehouse workers and sem-trucks along Toy, Saltzgaber and Swisher roads is a familiar issue to township administrators.
Property owners claim the once peaceful rural road is now an avenue for speeders and trucks damage front yards. They suggested dead-ending Toy Road in order to block truck and through traffic.
Road Superintendent Terry Spangler said Franklin County studied the speed and traffic in the area several years ago and dropped the limit down to 35 miles per hour. Workers put up a guard rail, but it was damaged within a week of installation.
In addressing the idea to dead-end the road, Trustee Gary McDonald said, “Unfortunately, that’s a decision we cannot make alone. It’s not simple. It’s not impossible, but it’s a long study.”