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Volunteer police? Union Township constables help community

UNION TOWNSHIP - Tim Newman has been working in law enforcement since 1961 - not for the excitement or the accolades, but

simply because, "he loves his community."

"It does take a very special person to be a police officer," the officer admits shyly.

The retired Chesapeake Police officer continues his dedication to the community as Police Chief of the Union Township Police Department Constable's Division where Newman and his fellow officers serve the township for free.

Newman has been a constable since 1991. Currently, five constables who are all former and present police officers serve the township. All the officers are volunteers.

The division consists of Chief Tim Newman, Sgt. Billy Scarberry, Charlie Taylor, Russ Bennett and Faye Newman.

"They are all dedicated," Newman said.

These officers, who serve the Union Township area, are all certified and are graduates of the Ohio Peace Officer's Training Academy. Although they are not paid, they do have a lot of authority.

"We have as much authority as a sheriff's deputy, only here in the township, where as the sheriff's department has the entire county," Newman said.

These officers also work with officers who need back-up, respond to automobile accidents and work with the township trustees on problems.

"Whenever a complaint is turned into township trustees, they'll notify us and we'll follow through on the complaint," Newman said. "We've also worked on a couple of cases with the Huntington, (W.Va.) Police Department."

Newman said the last couple of years, officers have been working about 16 hours a month at the high school games. They have been sort of inactive lately since their cruiser has been broken down, but Newman said they hope to be back in full force by the end of the month.

"We hope to be out in full swing by the end of July for road patrol, since we have purchased another car," he said.

Newman also said that the division is thankful for the help of other local law enforcement offices.

Newman said the sheriff's office allows the constables to utilize the county's dispatch system, and

that the Chesapeake Police Department has been nice enough to let them use their equipment.

"One agency that has been super to us is the highway patrol," he said. "They are a great bunch of guys."

As the constable division prepares to step-up patrols later this month, Newman said that their main goal is to keep the community safe and to protect and serve Union Township.

"We are all here to help each other," he said.