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Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 15, 2023

Coal Grove police officers Zachary Roberts and Isaiah Burch after their swearing in at village hall on Thursday. (The Ironton Tribune | Heath Harrison)

Village of  Coal Grove swears in new officers

COAL GROVE — The village of Coal Grove swore in two new recruits for their police department on Thursday, which Sgt. Steven Woodyard said would give them a full slate of officers and allow them to offer 24 hour coverage.

Mayor Gary Sherman swore in officers Zachary Roberts and Isaiah Burch, who police chief Bill Murphy said had recently graduated from the academy.

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Murphy noted that Roberts finished the highest in the academy. He said the two officers have been riding along with him and Woodyard as they do their training in the village and that, in the past week, they had issued 25 citations.

“A lot of places have trouble hiring,” Woodyard said, noting that the council had approved a $5,000 signing bonus for the officers, which brings the total of the department to seven. “So we’re very appreciative of the council for that investment in the police department.”

Roberts and Burch were sworn in, along with village enforcement officer Seth Summers.

Burch, of Chesapeake, said he comes from a background of working in armed security in Huntington for five years.

“I’ve wanted to be a cop since I was a kid,” he said. “And this is a good time to do that.”

Roberts, of Ironton, said that, growing up, he had “seen a lot of bad things happen.”

“This is a way to make a change and build a better community,” he said.

In his report to council, Murphy said, in the past month, Coal Grove police had issued 255 citations.

He said the department was also awaiting a grant, coming in September, which he said was approved and would pay three-year salaries for officers.

Murphy also thanked Giovanni’s of Coal Grove, the Loyal Order of the Moose and the Coal Grove Lions Club for donations to the department.

He said they are still seeking donations of stuffed animals and toys to hand out to children. Council members praised attention officers had been getting for handing out stickers to children in the village.

In other business, the council:

• Heard from the fire department. Council member Andy Homes asked about recruitment and said if the department needed assistance in that from the village, to let them know of an event they could organize.

• Heard from Summers on enforcement and tire collection. Council members told him to set a date to go ahead with a tire pickup in the village.

• Heard from the street department about renewing a trash collection contract with Rumpke for the village. Holmes suggested the village buy its own truck and carry out those services, and noted the truck could be paid for within three years from savings. Council members also discussed a line in the contract about requiring stickers for residents for extra trash pickup and agreed to omit that line, if renewed.

• Discussed the possibility of creating a memorial/monument at the four-way stop sign in the village. Holmes said the council is trying to make a decision on the cite for possibly a veterans memorial or a first responders monument.

“We want to utilize that spot for beatification and gatherings,” he said.