Kirkersville Police Chief resigns
KIRKERSVILLE - It's another changing of the guard at the Kirkersville Police Department.
Police Chief Jim Petrey's resignation was announced during the March 4 council meeting. Petrey's letter of resignation simply stated, "It is with regret that I must tender my resignation as chief of police with the Village of Kirkersville effective March 2, 2009. I would like to express my thanks to the mayor for his support during my tenure with the village. I would also express my thanks to council for their support."
Mayor Terry Ashcraft said Petrey offered no further explanation for his resignation. "(The letter) is what he gave me," he said. Ashcraft appointed Petrey Aug. 20, 2008; Petrey replaced Acting Chief Chris Martin, who replaced former Chief Robert Chamberlain after he resigned May 14, 2008.
Ashcraft said the Licking County Sheriff is in charge of the Kirkersville Police Department until a new chief is appointed. Ashcraft said Wednesday that a new police chief should be appointed during a special council meeting March 12, 6 p.m. at the Village Hall.
Ashcraft said the village will still pursue legal charges against Chamberlain who, when he resigned, took with him his personnel file and DVDs he claimed were his. Ashcraft said previously that the DVDs mainly contain video of traffic stops, although he wasn't completely certain. He is certain, however, that the material is village property. Ashcraft said village solicitor Debbie Kenny McBride is working on the legalities.
In other village news,
• Resident David Roach read a letter aloud March 4 that implied in a roundabout manner that the village was not allowing the police department to do its job and that Kirkersville's elected officials are not frequenting local businesses. It's important to note, however, that Roach submitted a letter to the editor in this week's Beacon apologizing for his comments. He said he was simply relaying his thoughts and meant no ill will toward council.
Ashcraft said he found an unsigned letter in a seat at the Village Hall following a meeting and made copies of it for council members. Ashcraft concluded that Roach wrote the letter and discussed it with him privately. Ashcraft said Roach was asked to read the letter aloud during the council meeting. Ashcraft added that he doesn't believe the village is restricting the police department's duties and said he regularly frequents many Kirkersville businesses. "We sure didn't" stop the police chief from doing his job, said Ashcraft.
• Village council meetings now begin at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday evening of the month.