2008-05-17 / News

Kirkersville Police Chief resigns

By Scott Rawdon

KIRKERSVILLE - The sheriff's department will have to do in Kirkersville, at least for a while. Kirkersville Police Chief Robert Chamberlain resigned May 7, effectively shutting down the village police department until a replacement is found. Mayor Terry Ashcraft would not predict when that will be. "The sheriff will do fine," he said.

The village council cancelled its May 7 meeting and had no opportunity to discuss the situation. The meeting was rescheduled for May 14. Ashcraft said Chamberlain resigned for "personal reasons," but declined to provide more details until council members receive copies of Chamberlain's resignation letter. Ashcraft did say, however, that the reason for Chamberlain's resignation was not related to the job or the community. "There was no argument, just personal reasons," he said.

The Licking County Sheriff's Department will respond to Kirkersville calls in the village department's absence. Sheriff Randy Thorp provided the following email statement:

"We received a call from the mayor that their chief had resigned and that they would not have any officersout until a replacement was named. We were not provided a timetable. When in operation, Kirkersville does not always have an officeron duty, and therefore our deputies handle calls for service and routinely pass through town. We will handle this situation no differently and feel that the sheriff's office can adequately provide law enforcement services to the village during this period of transition."

Ashcraft said Chamberlain served for an approximate total of nine years, first as an auxiliary, and eventually as police chief. The remainder of Kirkersville's police force is two part-time officersand an auxiliary, none of whom are currently on duty. "We don't have a (police) levy, so I don't know what we'll do," said Ashcraft. "We may have to make some cuts." The mayor said another levy can't be placed on the ballot until November, but with the economy as tight as it is, he questions how successful a levy can be. "It's hard to say if it will pass in the current economy," said Ashcraft. He added that more information will be available about the situation after council members discuss it.

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