Gary Conley and Matthew Wharton took their oath of office from City Judge Curtis Parkins.
They will be taking over for Joe Kauffman, currently a deputy with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, and Patrolman Pete Bowen, who will be retiring from the Chester Police Department in September or October.
Conley, 24, of Colliers, previously worked in technical support for Comcast Cable.
“I’m looking forward to meeting the community...Law enforcement is always something I’ve wanted to do...This is where I want to be,” said Conley.
Wharton, 23, of Chester, is working toward his criminal justice degree from Fairmont State.
“I was brought up in Chester and raised here and I’m proud to give back to the community,” Wharton said.
Chester Police Chief Ken Thorn said his two newest officers still must attend 14 weeks of police academy, and upon their completion, the police department will be back at full strength. Thorn said he hopes to send at least one, possibly both, of the new officers to the academy as soon as June.
“Both boys come highly recommended, and they’re going to be assets to the city. I couldn’t be happier with the selection,” said Thorn.
Chester Mayor Ken Morris echoed the sentiment. “They’re going to be a big asset. We need them. They’re going to do a great job, and I wish them luck,” he said.
Gary Conley and Matt Wharton are sworn in to the Chester Police Department. Pictured are (from left) Mayor Ken Morris, Conley, Judge Curtis Parkins, Wharton, and Chester Police Chief Ken Thorn. (Photo by Emily Scott)