Salineville appoints acting chief

SALINEVILLE – The village will have an interim police chief to fill in while officials search for candidates for the position.

Village Council on Wednesday voted to name current village officer Stephen Thomas as acting chief. Former Chief Terry McElroy resigned Monday.

Mayor Mary Smith made it clear Thomas’ appointment is not necessarily permanent. “I know that normally we can do an appointment but I wanted to take in resumes, look and see what is out there,” she said.

The minutes of Monday’s council meeting state the mayor has been approached by two “very qualified candidates” who have expressed interest in the job.

However, Smith said she would like to advertise the job in local papers and accept resumes. Council voted Monday to approve advertisements being placed in several local papers. The village is also advertising for officers after two officers recently quit.

Smith said the department has only two officers, Shaun Paciorek, who started on the job last week and Thomas, who has been with the department over a year and was with the force under former chief Tim LaClair.

Thomas’ pay and benefits will remain the same despite being named acting chief, according to Smith.

Village law currently allows for officers to work up to 32 hours per week on an emergency basis. Thomas will likely need every bit of those 32 hours to fulfill the duties of chief while still performing his other duties, according to Smith.

“He’s going to have court time, he’s going to have administrative time and he’s definitely going to have road time,” he said.

Councilman Craig Roberts questioned the mayor as to if the village legally needed an acting chief. “We should, otherwise it’s going to come back to me and I don’t want that responsibility,” Mayor Smith said.