Liverpool Township selects new police chief

LaCROFT – A veteran officer who has worked at different area departments has been chosen as Liverpool Township’s newest police chief.

Jayson Jackson, 39, was sworn in by East Liverpool Municipal Court Judge Melissa Byers Emmerling Wednesday in front of family, friends, officials and colleagues, including Lt. Justin Wright, who was also up for the position.

A 1991 East Liverpool High School graduate, Jackson completed his police officer training at Jefferson Community College in 2000. Since then, he has worked part-time for Wellsville and St. Clair Township police departments and for two separate stints at Liverpool Township.

He had left Liverpool Township for St. Clair, believing he was moving up to full-time but that didn’t happen, according to Liverpool Township Trustee Karl “Butch” Kontnier.

“We didn’t want him to go,” Kontnier said.

Jackson returned to the township recently, making seven years he has served the department.

Kontnier said Wright and Jackson “are both good boys,” but said the ultimate decision to hire Jackson was based on him having 10 years maturity over Wright and his experience working at the different departments, whereas Wright had been with the department just a couple years.

In addition, Jackson is a lifelong Liverpool Township resident, which Kontnier said was a plus, saying, “He knows the township well.”

The decision was made during a special meeting Monday. Kontnier was joined at the swearing in ceremony by Trustee Steve Betteridge, but Trustee Keith Burke was not in attendance.

Jackson said he doesn’t expect to make any major changes at this time, saying, “We’ve got a group of good guys in place who know what they’re doing and who know how to handle themselves.”

He also said he plans on being involved in the community and intends to have a zero tolerance policy for drugs, “because that’s the root of all the criminal activity in our area.”

Jackson said, “I’m looking forward to working with the trustees and also to a smooth transition.”

Kontnier said trustees expect to move one of the department’s six part-time officers to a full-time spot and possibly hire a part-time replacement, depending on whether or not the sheriff’s department hires away one of their officers.

Currently, the department has nine officers, three full-time and six part-time.