PDT Staff Writer
It was announced last week that Jerry Leach had become the Portsmouth Police Department’s second captain. It was also announced that Jason Hedrick had been promoted to Lieutenant. Wednesday, the two were sworn in with family members and fellow police officers witnessing the event.
Portsmouth Mayor David Malone first swore in Leach as his daughters, Abby and Kaity watched with anticipation of getting the honor of pinning on his new badge. Malone then swore in Hedrick, whose brother, Chris, is also a member of the force. Hedrick’s son Dalton, wife Amanda and father James all took part in the ceremony.
The captain’s slot came open when Robert Ware became Chief of Police for the city, leaving only one captain, Lynn Brewer on a force that calls for two captains.
“We’re finally promoting the long-awaited second captain’s position, and the subsequent promotions that go with that position, are starting today, and they will finish up one day next week with the final promotion,” Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware said. “They have all been here for some time. Jerry has been here for over 20 years, and Jason brings some experience from the Probation Department over to the city police. And he’s over 10 years. So we have some outstanding people moving up that bring a lot to the table as far as their knowledge and expertise to help us run the department efficiently and effectively.”
“I’m getting used to doing this,” Malone said. “And that’s a good thing.”
The Police Department, like the Portsmouth Fire Department, remains understaffed according to the City Charter. According to the Charter, both departments are to have a staff of 44 people. Both departments have been under that figure for a number of years.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.