West Jefferson PD welcomes new full-time officer

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Messenger photo by Michael Williamson
\West Jefferson Mayor Ray Martin (right) swears in Robert Speakman (left) as a new member of the village police department. Speakman previously worked for the Springfield Police Department. Also pictured: council member, Howard Wade.

(Posted March 20, 2019)

By Michael Williamson, Staff Writer

West Jefferson has a new addition to the police department.

Mayor Ray Martin swore in Robert Speakman at the village’s regular council meeting on March 18. Speakman joins the force as a full-time officer with pay set at the two-year level.

“He has a lot of experience. We’re eager to have him come here and be one of the new leaders of the department and of the community,” said Police Chief Rick Hardy.

Speakman is a two-year veteran of the Springfield Police Department and is a United States Army veteran. He also works with the community as a scout leader for West Jefferson’s Boy Scout Pack 121.

Also at the meeting, council approved the site plan and a variance for the landscape plan for Project Maple Lot 1 located on U.S. Route 40.

“Project Maple involved two pieces of land. Medline will be in the rear plot of land, and the Exeter Property Group will be in the front,” said Steve Johnston, council president.

Exeter Property Group, the company that requested the approvals, plans to develop an 832,000 square-foot industrial building on the Project Maple property just north of the proposed Medline facility.

Johnston said construction for the Medline building could start as early as spring.

In other meeting action, council:

  • approved an ordinance that would amend prior legislation passed in 2013, removing law enforcement operations from the employee handbook. The action would return general operations to the department and the mayor rather than through administration.
  • adopted a recommendation from the West Jefferson Tax Incentive Review Council to continue the tax incentive agreement the village has with several industries located at the park at State Route 29 and U.S. Route 40.
  • designated recently appointed clerk Deborah DiLeo as a representative for the village in attending public records training, a required action by the State of Ohio.

The next regular meeting of West Jefferson village council is set for 7 p.m. April 1 in council chambers at village hall.

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