New Police Chief a Top Priority for Cedarville Mayoral Candidates

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CEDARVILLE (KFSM) – As the Cedarville mayor’s election nears, the three candidates running said they are using the final weeks to reach prospective voters.

The candidates each said hiring a new police chief should take a high priority, as the city has had four police chiefs since the spring of 2013, including David Goss, Mark Gentry, Joseph Johnson and Blaine Irvin. City officials are still recovering from investigations that resulted in some police chiefs being accused of breaking state law by not filing citation books properly.

Glenanna O’Mara has been the mayor for three years and said a committee is in the process of selecting a new police chief. She said she has no intentions of asking the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office to take over the police department.

“We have no intentions of going back to the county. That would be a step backward. That is not a step forward for our city,” O’Mara said.

O’Mara said if she continues to serve as mayor, one thing she wants to do is make some updates to the city park.

“We’ll be doing some updates to our park, trying to make it a little more teen friendly,” O’Mara said, suggesting activities for teens be organized.

Wayne Bentley said he thinks the city can handle the police department problem on its own.

“I think Cedarville can handle the police department — if the proper people are there. They’ve got a committee going to get us a new chief. I don’t know who it’ll be, but I’m looking forward to working with them if I’m elected,” Bentley said.

He also said one of his priorities is improving the roads around Cedarville, mentioning that vehicles have trouble getting around town, particularly in the winter.

“It’s just something that we’ve got to do if our budget will let us,” Bentley said. He was a city council member in 2009.

Darren Langley also said he’s focused on a getting a new police chief on board.

“I would like to be mayor and try to fix the solution on this police department, find a police chief that’s going to stay with us, and pull this community together as one as we once were,” Langley said.

He said he would also like to help build a facility for the little league team in town.

“We don’t even have place to practice. We have a lot of construction guys in this town. Maybe we can get them together and build a facility for our little league,” Langley said.

Langley served as an alderman in 2011 and 2012.

Interim Police Chief Jim Freeman was asked to come back to work from retirement after former chief Blaine Irvin stepped down. Freeman said he’s ready to retire again.

“The new chief position will be full time. Instead of a 20-hour week it will be a 40-hour-a-week job. I think they settled on a total package of [around] $30,000,” Freeman said.

Voters will decide between those three candidates on Nov. 4. The winner will be sworn in as mayor Jan. 1, 2015.