ROSEVILLE — Roseville Police Chief Archie Spradlin has resigned from his post after accepting a job with Columbus State Community College's law enforcement program.
He initially made a proposal to village council last week to go part time in Roseville, but he said he has since decided to give the college his undivided attention to help build the program.
The mayor and village council were advised this week of his resignation via email. Spradlin's last day will be Feb. 4.
"I wish him the best; I hate to see him go," Mayor Bryan Stickel said. "If he's seeing a better light for him and his family, I believe him."
The initial proposal to go part time initially passed 3-2 in council to keep him for a minimum of 20 hours a week. Rhonda Abele, Lois Guy and Shirley Allen all voted yes. James Barbour and Vickie Gussler voted no. Kurt Torres, who also serves as a Roseville Police auxiliary officer, abstained.
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His new job will be police academy commander and program manager for Columbus State's law enforcement section. One of his main duties will be overseeing the police academy.
Spradlin has been full time as Roseville chief since May. He has simultaneously worked as an adjunct professor at Columbus State's law enforcement program. He recommended his second-in-command, Josh Weaver, step in as acting chief until which time they seek applications and start a hiring process.
His suggestion is that the village have a window period for applicants then set up a five-panel hiring committee with the mayor, council president and three residents, who have been voted in by their peers at an open council meeting.
That would help avoid any issues of nepotism or unethical behaviors the public may perceive from the hiring, he said.
"That might set a precedent down the road," Spradlin said. "It just makes things fair and gives the village a voice and input into who will be serving as police chief."
He said he took the new position at Columbus State because the benefits, particularly nearly-free tuition for his children, were something he couldn't pass up.
Council had some concerns about the possibility of having a part-time chief at the time.
Councilwoman Lois Guy questioned him during the meeting on why he thought he got pushback from the village when he got new police cruisers and hired Weaver. He said he didn't know, but didn't take it personally.
"I just think for decades things were done a certain way in this town," Spradlin said last week. "I don't think people would disagree that you folks are a very, very tough crowd.
"If I was a comedian, I'd be getting crickets," he said, drawing a laugh from meeting attendees. "I just had to wrap my mind around that."
Spradlin's impact on the department
A law enforcement veteran of more than 30 years, Spradlin said his presence as chief has changed the Roseville force for the better.
There was no one patrolling for a year prior to Spradlin's appointment after former chief Joey Carr's resignation. Sheriff's deputies from Muskingum and Perry counties who typically only handle the village's evening calls also had to pick up daytime incidents.
Since Spradlin signed on, Roseville Police Department has been certified in two categories of the Ohio Collaborative. The status generally indicates a credible police force, and has opened up the doors to apply for grants unavailable to non-certified departments.
Additionally, he said, the crime rate is down overall. He attributes the drop in thefts and assaults to more officers on the streets randomly patrolling.
Mayor Bryan Stickel acknowledged some new safety concerns. One was changing the department's primary dispatch center from Muskingum to Perry County.
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Roseville is split between the two counties and primarily used Muskingum's dispatchers for decades.
Spradlin said he decided to switch because most of the violent crime calls come out of Perry County. Roseville is also about to enter a mutual aid agreement with Crooksville Police, which means its department can assist neighboring Roseville much quicker than the next-closest department, South Zanesville.
Still, Spradlin said changes like that are for the better of the department — and for village residents.
This article originally appeared on Zanesville Times Recorder: Roseville police chief going part time, adding additional auxiliary officers