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Police chief of Haskins leaves force after 6 years

HASKINS - The village hall will sustain another administrative loss this week when its police chief of more than six years takes off his badge for good.

The resignation of Jerry Eversman at midnight Sunday is one of several departures this Wood County village has experienced in recent months.

Unlike the departure of the previous mayor, Chief Eversman said his resignation is amicable, with “no beefs, no problems” or personality clashes with village leaders.

In September, longtime Mayor Kenneth Fallows resigned after telling the village council it had not been working as a team.

The village appointed council president Charlene Genson mayor, and named three new council members and combined the vacant treasurer's post with another position.

“It seems like it's all happening all at once,” said Lisa Heft, who took over as village clerk in February.

The council recently appointed Mrs. Heft to the post of treasurer, a job left vacant by the resignation of Lenetta Swanson, who was just elected in November.

The part-time chief's job, which was billed as a 10-hour-a-week position, has become time-consuming with its administrative functions as well as law-enforcement duties, Mr. Eversman said.

As chief, Mr. Eversman is paid a salary of $575 a month for what he said amounts to a 20-hour work week.

Although he had planned to leave the job earlier, the parade of departing elected officials prompted Chief Eversman to stay on to provide some continuity to the administration.

“I thought the new year would be the right time to make the break,” he said. “I didn't want to leave the village out on a limb.

“It's something I've been considering for six months,” he said.

Mrs. Heft, whose husband, Brad, is the new council president, said the village plans to advertise for a new chief shortly.

In addition to the chief, the village has two full-time officers and four part-time patrol officers who split 20 hours a week. The manpower is needed for the village because of its position along highly traveled State Rt. 64, and state Rt. 582, and two new subdivisions that have boosted the population to more than 700 people, Chief Eversman said.

In January, 1999, the village obtained its first full-time police protection when council accepted a $150,000 federal grant to hire two officers for the next three years.

In expanding its police force, the village bucked a recent trend in Wood County of smaller communities dissolving their police departments to contract with the sheriff for protection.

After three years, the village must pay for the officers on its own, though it could apply for more money, Chief Eversman said at the time.

Though his resignation takes effect Sunday night, Chief Eversman said he expects to be called upon to provide historical information and provide context to cases that were opened under his watch.

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