By Rick Palsgrove
The Madison Township trustees selected Officer Gary York of the Groveport Police Department to be the township’s new police chief.
York will replace Ken Braden who retired as township police chief on Jan. 3.
Madison Township Trustee John Pritchard said York’s appointment is subject to salary negotiations, the successful completion of drug testing, physical, and background checks. He said York will begin service with the Madison Township Police Department no later than Feb 12.
The trustees have initially set York’s annual salary at the current chief’s salary of $87,101.
“We didn’t finish all the details yet,” said Pritchard. “The main concern was to give Groveport as much notice as possible. We wanted to treat Groveport right and let our township officers and staff know that we were acting decisively to bring in a highly qualified leader.”
Pritchard said York’s hiring is an “exceptional opportunity” for the township calling York “one of the Groveport Police Department’s finest officers.”
York served the Groveport community for 30 years, as a police officer, detective, sergeant, lieutenant and chief.
“His list of accomplishments is impressive and includes a master of science degree in administration with a concentration in public administration,” said Pritchard. “He is a 2005 graduate of the FBI Academy, an accomplishment that is only attained by approximately 1 percent of the police officers in the United States. He will bring his experience, training, and expertise to our Madison Township Police Department.”
York said he is looking forward to working with the police department and elected officials of Madison Township to improve community relations with residents, businesses and local schools.
“I’m not looking at this as a retirement job,” said York. “I’m looking at this as a career. I grew up in the area, I’m a graduate of Groveport Madison, and my wife and I are building a home here. This is home to us. There’s a lot at stake and I want it to be successful.”
York said when he served as Groveport police chief he stressed a theme of community service.
“I plan on carrying that through,” said York. “I believe that a service to community mindset is essential, and that by working together, we can make a difference.”
York noted policing a city compared to the township has its differences, such as the township’s larger unincorporated geographic area and population.
“But the services are the same,” said York. “We want to serve the community’s residents, schools, and businesses.”
York believes the Madison Township Police Department has the untapped potential “to be a great department.”
“It needs a chance to shine,” said York.
He said he plans to talk with the officers to determine what the department’s immediate needs are and then to address those needs.
The Groveport Police Department and city officials wished York well on his new job.
“I know he will serve Madison Township very well,” said Mayor Lance Westcamp.
“We congratulate Gary York on being named the police chief for Madison Township,” said Groveport Police Chief Ralph Portier.
Portier said York will officially retire from the Groveport Police Department on Jan. 24 after 30 years of service.