2008-01-05 / News

Thornville Police Chief, Captain retire

By Scott Rawdon

THORNVILLE- Duane Moore, Thornville's part-time police chief and his wife, Elaine, auxiliary captain of the police department, both announced their retirement effective Dec. 31. Both served in their respective positions for 13 years.

Thornville Mayor Beth Patrick swore in auxiliary officer Mike Schankle to serve as parttime interim chief while the village conducts a search for a full-time police chief. Patrick was clear that the level law enforcement will not change from where it's been while the village conducts its search. The level of law enforcement will increase once a full-time chief is hired. The village currently has four auxiliary officers. "We really owe them a debt of gratitude. Duane and Elaine served the village well," said Patrick. Each also served with the Thornville Fire Department. Patrick said Duane Moore holds a full-time career with Marathon Oil and "had to make a choice" when the village council decided to expand the police chief's position to full-time beginning Jan. 1.

"I will truly miss serving the residents," said the former chief in his resignation letter. "Many of the residents over the years have grown to know and to trust me. I will miss the contact with the school children whom I have watched grow up over the years and become young adults."

Moore continued, "Through my 13 years, none of my officerswas ever seriously injured or killed. They all went home at the end of their shifts. I'm proud to say several of my officerswent on to better law enforcement jobs after learning the basics here at Thornville. I did the best I could.

"As before me, there was a police chief and after me there will be one. For the years between October 1994 and December 2007, I was police chief for the Village of Thornville and I believe I made a difference. To the Village of Thornville--thank you for the opportunity to serve and protect our community."

Patrick said she hopes a new full-time chief is hired by mid- February.

Elaine Moore stated in her resignation letter that while "it has been a great honor" for her to serve Thornville for 13 years, it's time for Moore and her husband "to move on.

"I am very appreciative to the residents of the Village of Thornville who have given their trust to allow me to protect their community," she said in her letter.

The Moores' resignations were just two in a long line of changes for the Thornville government this year. During 2007, the positions of mayor, village administrator, village solicitor, council president, police chief, and a member of council all changed, in addition to the position of zoning inspector--former inspector Dean Chalfant was replaced by Ryan Marshall.

Patrick explained that the village can hire a full-time chief without a new levy or dipping into the general fund to balance the police fund. The village can legally pull money from its water and sewer funds toward a full-time police chief because the chief will patrol the village's water and sewer plant. The US Department of Homeland Security is encouraging municipalities to protect their utilities, making it possible for the village to use money from the water and sewer funds toward the police department.

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