The latest addition to the Austintown Police Department is Ryan Reese, who has served over a year and a half on the APD Reserves. His hiring maintains a staff of 37 as voters were promised.
"The passage of the (police) levy in March of this year helps us maintain our numbers," said police Chief Robert Gavalier. "Right now, with the levy (funds) we are keeping our status quo, updating and replacing equipment. The levy offsets money taken away by the state."
The levy has helped maintain a force of 37 full-time officers in the township. Reese was brought on after the official retirement of Lt. Bob Schaeffer from the detective division. His retirement allows for other full-time officers to move up the ladder.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Austintown Police Department’s newest full-time officer, Ryan Reese, prepares to hit the road in one of the township’s newest Ford Taurus squad cars.
"We will soon be testing for lieutenant to replace Schaeffer," Gavalier said.
As for Reese, the chief said he was fortunate with the recent retirements in that he was able to get on the force in a short time.
"It came quick," Reese said. "Some guys have to wait 10 years for full time."
Reese is a Canfield High School class of 2003 graduate. He attended YSU for two years and was employed as a professional race car driver for five years. He went through the Kent State Police Academy and said it was his mother, Patricia Reese, who influenced him to seek a law enforcement career.
"My mom was involved in law enforcement and she encouraged me," Reese said.
Gavalier said he became a reserve officer early in 2011 and was already serving as a part-time officer with the Hubbard Police Department. He said the department tries to maintain a strong reserve force to have trained and proven officers to fill positions that come open.
As Reese took to the streets last month, he was able to get behind the wheel of one of the new Ford Taurus Police Interceptors. Four new Fords were purchased to replace aging vehicles in the fleet. Reese said the Fords have a V-6, but can keep pace with the Dodge Charger V-8s.