Bowman takes IPD helm #045; for now

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Illness has forced another change in the hierarchy at the Ironton Police Department.

Mayor John Elam appointed Capt. Christopher Bowman to fill in as acting police chief after Capt. Jerry Leach was hospitalized for health problems Monday. Bowman is second in seniority within the department.

&#8220The police department reports military style,” Elam said. &#8220I have asked Capt. Bowman to be acting chief and he has agreed until Capt. Leach returns to work or until a new chief is appointed.”

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The change is effective immediately. Bowman was unable to be reached for comment.

Leach was appointed acting chief in July upon the retirement of former Chief Bill Garland.

Without Leach, who served both as chief and a road patrol officer, the already understaffed department is stretched even further than it was before.

&#8220This puts us minus another officer. It leaves us with 12 officers,” Capt. Jim Carey said. &#8220We're just trying to take priority things first.”

Meanwhile, no test date has been scheduled for candidates interested in permanently replacing Garland.

Although state law requires a test date to be set within 60 days of a vacancy, the city's financial woes and difficulty finding a company to compile the test have stalled the process.

All four of the city's police captains, Bowman, Leach, Jim Carey and Dan Johnson are eligible to take the test.