By WAYNE ALLEN
PDT Staff Writer
Portsmouth Police Chief Charles Horner announced Friday his intentions to retire in late November after 28 years of service. Horner has also announced his intentions to run for Scioto County Sheriff in 2012.
“My retirement will occur with the city in late November, the third or fourth week. This will allow me time to take out petitions for Scioto County sheriff and have those petitions filed before the deadline of Dec. 7,” Horner said.
“I have been approached to run (for sheriff) in the past,” Horner said. “And I chose not to because my heart was in Portsmouth. Because of the culmination of many things, I’ve decided that I need to expand my efforts from Portsmouth to Scioto County. I think I have a lot to bring to Scioto County.”
Horner started his career with the department as a patrolman and was promoted to sergeant, lieutenant and captain before becoming chief nearly 10 years ago.
Horner has been openly critical of the city’s problems with mold and asbestos in the city building and he mentioned them while announcing his intention to retire.
“The environment in which we have to work has become a major issue,” Horner said Friday. “I think the conduct of the city has not been prudent in ensuring the safety of their employees and retuning police department personnel to the basement of the city building. I think we need to invest in those officers and the quality of the working conditions in which they have to work.”
Horner said the single greatest success of his career has been the relationships he’s been able to develop with local, state and federal leaders.
“My involvement in SOLACE, my involvement with Lisa Roberts, my involvement with the Scioto County Drug Action Team, my involvement with the state and federal government and bringing a face to prescription drug abuse has been a great accomplishment,” Horner said.
He said the relationships he has formed throughout the years have served as inspiration to run for Scioto County sheriff.
He said because the chief of police is a civil service position he cannot take out petitions until he is retired.
“I’m prohibited by civil service to engage in political activity. After my retirement is official, I will then take out petitions in order to run for sheriff in 2012,” Horner said.
“I think what I’ve done stands on its face, I think we’ve made monumental strides in the advancement of the Portsmouth Police Department. In the quality of manpower, equipment and technology,” Horner said. “Without question we’ve made major advancements in addressing the prescription drug abuse problem, which has made the a difference unlike anytime in my 28-year history with the Portsmouth Police.”
Horner said there will be a competitive test to determine who will be the next chief.
“Because the city has failed its obligation to fill vacancies in the department we are short a captain,” Horner said. “As a result the test, in order to be competitive, would have to be between a caption and lieutenants.”
The police department currently has one captain and four lieutenants.
Portsmouth Mayor David Malone said he was informed about Horner’s intentions Friday afternoon.
“We are thankful for his many years of service with the city and wished him good luck and Godspeed on his journey,” Malone said.