Johnson named chief
The Town Council Tuesday accepted a Police Committee recommendation that Tim Johnson be hired as Shepherdstown’s chief of police.
“I’m excited and glad,” Johnson said Wednesday. “My time in Shepherdstown’s been good. … I couldn’t ask for a better community to be chief of police for.”
Johnson has served as acting chief since January, when former chief Terry Bellomy resigned to take another job. He was sworn into office during the Council’s regular monthly meeting held at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall.
Johnson came to the Shepherds-town police force from Morgan County, where he had worked for six years as a deputy sheriff and where he still lives with his family.
“He displayed his ability to do police work,” said Mayor Jim Auxer. “And we’ve gotten a number of positive comments from residents regarding his handling of their concerns in an expedient manner.”
By the mid-February deadline, the Corporation of Shepherdstown had received 10 applications for the chief post, which was advertised at a salary up to $54,000.
The Police Committee – comprised of Auxer and Council members Lori Robertson, Wanda Grantham Smith and Stuart Wallace – interviewed five of the candidates and ultimately unanimously recommended Johnson be hired.
“People are feeling more comfortable to able to come and talk to the officers,” Johnson said. “I’d like to have more of the people in town involved in the community policing. … I’m open for any suggestions that people might have.”
Johnson wants to grow the Neighborhood Watch Program, and plans to have officers walking the beat to check on local business and residences and to promote a friendly atmosphere in town.
“We followed the hiring procedures in the personnel handbook,” Auxer said. “We were careful to do that.”
During his time as acting chief, Johnson has kept the Police Committee and the mayor informed and is open to new ideas, Auxer said, adding Johnson already has streamlined administrative processes at the South Princess Street department.
“He has shown an ability to interact with other police departments in a positive manner,” Auxer said, noting Johnson also has worked well with town staff and is very good at getting out into the community and interacting with the public. “I think it will be a good fit for us.”