The Portsmouth Police Department has added a new member to its ranks. Portsmouth City Manager Derek K. Allen conducted a swearing in ceremony last week on the steps of the city building in which he administered the oath of office to James A. Bell, 27 of Portsmouth, as an official member of the police department
In making some brief comments before the swearing in, Allen spoke of the importance of providing the community with a quality public safety force as well as a sufficient force to do the job. Allen said the importance of public safety forces to our daily lives had been increasingly highlighted by the recent events in our country and the world.
“I am very pleased at the level of support and respect for the local enforcement that exists in Portsmouth,” Allen told the Daily Times. “The city is committed to upholding our end of this police-community relationship by maintaining high standards of excellence and recruiting, processing and hiring quality individuals that understand the responsibility that have to maintain law and order and at the same time treating the public with courtesy and respect.”
Allen said the hiring fulfills another of his goals.
“From the beginning of my service here, I have been dedicated to keeping the police and fire departments at full staff to provide for the communities safety,” Allen said. “The hiring of Bell is in keeping with that commitment to the citizens of Portsmouth by filling a vacancy within the police department.”
Bell is a 2007 graduate of South Webster High School. He is the son of James Bell of Lucasville and Kelli Martin of South Webster. Bell has one son, Nathaniel, who is 18 months old. He was employed by the Piketon Police Department before being hired by the City of Portsmouth.
“We welcome Mr. Bell to the Portsmouth Police Department and believe he will make a valuable addition to the department,” Operations Captain Lynn Brewer said. “We also believe that Mr. Bell will be a respected servant to the citizens of Portsmouth in his role as a Police Officer.”
Operations Captain Lynn Brewer said, having been employed as a police officer and being accredited through the State Of Oho, Bell will go directly into the field training portion of his employment. In that phase he will be assigned to work with veteran officers of the department, to become familiar with the various streets and boundaries of the city as well as familiarizing himself with the ordinances of the City of Portsmouth. Brewer said his performance will be continuously evaluated and once he has completed that portion of his training he will be released to work on his own.
“We encourage the citizens of the city to introduce themselves to Mr. Bell when they encounter him out and about in the city,” Brewer said. “We as Police Officers look forward to getting to know our citizens and community and encourage them to feel free to talk to us at any time.”
Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware said police officers play an important role in the community’s day to day life.
“We want the very best of our communities to serve in such an important role,” Ware said. “There are millions of encounters between law enforcement and the communities they serve every year. So much good is done, and so many lives positively impacted, each and every day. Yet, the focus tends to be on a few bad encounters. There is no greater honor than serving one’s community and a career in law enforcement is a way to give back and help.”