Ridgeway continues search for officer

Lucas Vance Staff Writer

October 29, 2013

RIDGEWAY —After a recent armed robbery, the Ridgeway Police Department has asked for the town’s assistance and a promotion.

“With the recent break in at the Dollar General police security has become a top priority,” Ridgeway Mayor Charlene Herring said. “Ridgeway has always been a very safe place and we want to continue that.”

It was during officer Don Johnson’s off hours that the Dollar General at 260 North Dogwood Road was robbed earlier this month.

During the town’s Oct. 10 meeting, Johnson requested some additional equipment as well as a promotion.

Johnson asked council to consider promoting him to the rank of lieutenant. He also requested a computer and copy/fax machine for the police department, as well as the repair of the radio and radar in the police vehicle.

“I know this is a small town, but a bunch of equipment is needed,” Johnson said. “I’m not trying to break the bank, but there is a bank in town and if it is robbed, the offenders would have better stuff than I have.”

The town cancelled a called meeting last week to discuss contractual matters regarding the police department.

“We thought we had an applicant but we didn’t,” Herring said.

Herring said that the town will continue to accept applications until a qualified individual becomes available.

During the meantime, Ridgeway will receive extra assistance from the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office as well as Johnson working increased hours to fill the void.

“We’ve been diligent in our attempt to pickup the slack,” Herring noted.

Ridgeway became a one-officer town after Police Chief James Ashford resigned Sept. 19. Ashford left in search of full-time work. In 2011, Ridgeway went to a part-time police department in an effort to save money for the town’s budget.

In an effort to bring awareness to the public, the Town of Ridgeway will host a crime prevention meeting on Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall to give residents more information on how to be safe in their home.

“We encourage our citizens to be diligent about any unusual situation and turn on their porch lights at night and keep their doors locked,” Herring noted. “We want to maintain a safe environment in our town.”