RIDGELEY, W.Va. — Ridgeley’s mayor and council addressed the need Tuesday to add to its police force after the departure of former Chief Jake Ryan and a part-time officer.
When asked about the nature of Ryan’s exit, Ridgeley Mayor Mark Jones said, “The police chief is no longer here.”
The force has been at less than full strength since Jan. 31.
“The status of our department has dwindled down some,” Jones said. “We no longer have a police chief, one of our part-time officers from the deputy sheriff’s department has got a better position through the county. He’s going to become a K-9 officer, so he’s going to be leaving for six weeks and he didn’t have time to work both jobs at the same time.”
Jones said the town is advertising for a West Virginia certified police officer to fill the position of chief.
“We’re going to be doing things a little bit different in this hiring process,” he said. “We’re going to be running a couple other steps to it — a more thorough background check, a written exam, a psychological test and a polygraph test and, of course, a physical.
“It’s not going to be done over night.”
The town will offer prospective new chiefs a benefits package, Jones said. So far, the town has received one application for the job.
“We’re going to try and be picky,” Jones said. “We’re hoping to get someone who will stay awhile.”
Finance commissioner Nick Imes asked who would pay for the added steps in the hiring process and Jones said the town will, so they have to be thorough and make it count.
There was no update on a policing contract with Carpendale. Ridgeley officers provide police protection in that neighboring town.
“I haven’t heard anything from Carpendale in quite awhile about our contract, so far it’s so good, even though we’re limited with our police coverage,” Jones said.
The current contract runs through June 30.
Town hall move
Officials discussed plans to move town hall to the site of the former Ridgeley Primary-Middle School. There is a near imminent need to move from the current location because of the building’s deteriorating condition.
Imes suggested looking into the cost of a commercial modular building and following a stage by stage plan.
The council approved continuing with a survey of the prospective plot.
Follow staff writer Brandon Glass on Twitter @Bglass13.