City adds officer, creates deputy position

CHESTER-On Monday, city council accepted the resignation of one city police officer, hired another and created the position of chief deputy.

After returning from an executive session called for personnel matters, council moved into the ‘old business’ section of the night’s agenda and voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Patrolman Clint Schon, effective July 30. Schon’s departure had been expected. In July, he accepted a job as a Hancock County sheriff’s deputy. The Chester Police department has lost several officers to the sheriff’s department in recent months. In May, Police Lt. Dante DiJirolanio and Patrolman Garrett Barnhart left the city department to accept jobs as sheriff’s deputies .

In anticipation of Schon’s departure, council members had authorized Police Chief Ken Thorn to use the current civil service list to hire his replacement at their July 28 meeting.

Thorn recommended council hire Josh Mumford. Council approved the hire of Mumford unanimously. Thorn, who interviewed Mumford, said only that he was “local” and a background check had not turned up any issues .

“I think he’ll be a very good candidate,” said Thorn.

Council also approved an ordinance creating the position of deputy chief of police within the city police department. The position will be filled by appointment according to the ordinance. When asked whether he had a candidate in mind to fill the position, Mayor Larry Forsythe said he had not yet considered anyone for the position and will make the appointment at a later time.

Chester’s current police force consists of Chief Thorn, Assistant Chief Todd Murray and probationary officer Brandon Whittaker. Whittaker is scheduled to leave for the West Virginia State Police Academy in September and will be gone for 16 weeks. Probationary Officer Brent Bergman is scheduled to graduate from the academy on Aug. 15 and will return to the force Aug. 17.