By Andrea Cordle
Jeffrey Pearson has spent his entire career in law enforcement. Now, he will be the next police chief for the city of Grove City.
His swearing-in ceremony was held on Feb. 26.
Pearson grew up in West Jefferson. His neighbor was in law enforcement and that sparked Pearson’s interest in the field.
“There is an allure in trying to help people,” said Pearson.
Pearson is a 33-year law enforcement veteran. After high school, he went to the Air Force and became a military police officer. From there, Pearson got a job as an officer near Myrtle Beach, S.C. He moved back to the central Ohio area and joined the Grove City Division of Police in September 1992 as a patrol officer. In 1996, he was promoted to sergeant.
“When I started, I just wanted to be the most experienced officer I could be,” said Pearson. “I had a desire to learn the different aspects of the agency.”
Pearson said he enjoyed his position as sergeant because it gave him the opportunity to work with new officers.
In 2011, Pearson was promoted to captain. Then in August of 2015, former Chief Steve Robinette announced his retirement. Pearson was named interim chief, until city officials decided to make it permanent.
“Jeff has more than 30 years of public safety experience and is a well-respected law enforcement leader in the central Ohio area,” said Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage.
Pearson is a graduate of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy, the Police Executive Leadership College, the Northwestern University’s School of Public Safety and is a certified law enforcement executive.
Pearson said as chief, one of his major goals is to enhance community relations.
“We are always focused on that,” said the chief. “We have a good relationship with the Grove City community, but that can always change in one incident.”
Pearson said the division of police has created a special operations unit to address constant issues like narcotics and theft.
He also said as police chief, he plans to review body-worn cameras for the department.
“I think this is the way to go,” said Pearson.
He said this may be included in the budget for next year.
Pearson will lead a department of 61 sworn officers and 25 civilians including joint dispatching operations.
Pearson has been married for 31 years to Ruth. They have two children.