Garland to serve as Ironton police chief

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 25, 2001

When Bill Garland takes the oath Tuesday, his whole life will change.

Monday, June 25, 2001

When Bill Garland takes the oath Tuesday, his whole life will change. Garland’s co-workers, friends and neighbors will no longer greet him as ‘captain,’ switching to ‘chief’ as the law enforcement veteran takes the helm at the Ironton Police Department.

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"I’ve been a police officer 24 years now; a shift commander for seven years This is going to be something," he said, but quickly added that he’s looking forward to the challenge.

Garland fills the retired Rodney McFarland’s shoes, having been chosen by the city’s Civil Service Board.

By city charter, the board tests candidates and makes the recommendation for chief, Ironton Mayor Bob Cleary said.

"We had three great candidates and Bill was the top scorer, so his name was given to me," Cleary said.

Garland will be sworn in during an Ironton City Center ceremony Tuesday at noon.

"It will be a new challenge for me," says the new chief.

The job will mean working more with city council members, the mayor and other law enforcement agencies. It will mean reviewing policy and personnel. But, the man behind the department will still be a policeman.

"The old phrase ‘to protect and serve’ is still with me," he said. "The public is No. 1. I’ve always felt that."

In his new duties, Garland wants to focus on IPD’s future.

The city’s current financial condition will make it tough but "I hope we can work together and get some things done," he said, listing modernization as a place to start.

"Don’t expect too many changes right off, but we want to try and get a little more modernized," Garland said.

Arrests are still listed on card files, for example, he said.

"I don’t know where the money will be in the near future but another priority is more officers," the chief said. "We’re at a bare minimum now. I feel they are doing an outstanding job for the personnel we have."

Change will take some money, and Garland said he understands the city’s hands are tied.

"But I hope to work with the mayor, city and the citizens themselves and try to make some improvements."

Garland, 58, is a Pennsylvania native who came to Ironton in 1966 as a member of the Ohio Highway Patrol. He moved to IPD several years later, and has seen a little of everything over his course of years.

So, will he miss being a policeman, in the cruiser and on patrol?

"In a way I will because I like being out on the street with people," he said. "But there are some details, like (dealing with) drunks, I won’t miss."