New West Jeff police chief takes oath of office

Messenger photo by Jeff Pfeil
Richard J. Hardy (left) took the oath of office as West Jefferson’s new police chief on March 13. Mayor Ray Martin (right) also conducted a ceremonial swearing-in at the March 20 council meeting.

(Posted March 22, 2018)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

West Jefferson’s new police chief is finding his department to be quite welcoming.

“They’re reaching out to me,” said Richard J. Hardy after his ceremonial swearing-in at the March 19 village council meeting.

Hardy officially took the oath of office on March 13, with Mayor Ray Martin presiding. Hardy recently retired from the Grove City police force with 27 years of service and replaces Terry Ward who retired in November.

In his first week on the job, Hardy has been working to get to know his force and the public, moving toward the goal of finding out “what we need to do to be effective for the community.”

During the meeting, council members approved the purchase of surveillance equipment for the police department. A $13,000 insurance settlement for a totaled vehicle will cover the costs.

Council also approved contracts for paving maintenance and sidewalk improvements. Public Safety Director John Mitchell said he hopes the work can begin in late May.

Strawser Paving Co. of Columbus won the paving maintenance job with a bid of $206,231. Council authorized spending up to $246,100 to cover potential unknown repairs to the street base and additional asphalt.

Don’s Flat Work of Plain City will repair a 437×4-foot section of sidewalk along Lilly Chapel Road for no more than $15,000. Mitchell said the section will be torn up and replaced to a proper level to accommodate the new asphalt.

Council also appropriated $50,653 from the Wastewater Repair Fund for repairs and supplies for the sanitary sewer mains and manholes.

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