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New police chief named in Ironton

Apr. 17, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

IRONTON -- Dan Johnson started the day Tuesday as day-shift captain for the Ironton Police Department. Before lunch, he was named Ironton's newest police chief.

Johnson, a Portsmouth native, has worked nearly 18 years on the city police force. Prior to that he served nine years in the U.S. Air Force.

Regarding police work, Johnson said, "I want to see a more active approach. I'm looking to hire more officers. I think I can make a difference. I want to improve the morale. I have the support of the officers. It's been a whirlwind of a day."

Johnson hopefully will be getting three new police officers soon, said Mayor Rich Blankenship. Several people have taken the Civil Service exam and the physical fitness part of the test, Blankenship said. "They still have to do the interviews, and then the Civil Service Commission will make recommendations to the mayor to hire three more police officers.

"The money's already in the budget," Blankenship said. "I think this is a positive move for the citizens of Ironton. I think positive things are in our future."

Johnson said he doesn't have any primary goals. "I'll figure it out as I go along," he said. "It will be a learning experience at first."

The new officers are sorely needed, Johnson said. The department is down to 11 officers. When Johnson started, the department had nearly 20 officers, he said. "I hope we can be more vigilant."

Capt. Chris Bowman, a detective, has been serving as acting chief for several months after Jim Carey retired as chief last year.

The city's Civil Service Commission will hold an exam for the captain's job, Johnson said. Three sergeants are eligible to apply for that post. Once that job is filled, there will be an opening for sergeant, Johnson said.

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