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Fairlawn Police Department promotes two officers

5/24/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

During the May 21 Fairlawn City Council meeting, Mayor William Roth swore in two new full-time police officers for the Fairlawn Police Department.

Zachary Honaker and Eric Hendrickson were promoted from part-time officers to full-time duties during a ceremony attended by fellow officers, friends and family.

Fairlawn Police Chief Kenneth Walsh read a short bio of each officer before the swearing-in ceremony.

“Zachary Honaker was born in Akron and moved to the city of Fairlawn when he was 2 years old. He attended Copley-Fairlawn [City] Schools and graduated from Copley High School in 2004. He attended The University of Akron and studied criminal justice. … In 2008, he attended the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy offered at The University of Akron. He served a short period of time as an auxiliary officer in Marlboro Township. In 2008, he was appointed to the Fairlawn Police Department as a part-time police officer, and he’s also spent time as a part-time police officer in Bath.

“Eric Hendrickson was raised in New Franklin, Ohio. Eric graduated from Manchester High School in 2003. He became a police dispatcher and shortly thereafter attended the Stark State Police Academy. Eric served as a reserve officer with the Silver Lake Police Department before being appointed to the Fairlawn Police Department as a part-time officer in 2008. In addition to his position in Fairlawn, Eric was employed by the Akron Municipal Clerk of Courts.”

Walsh said the officers “realize how lucky they are to be standing in the shoes they are right now.”

“Things are really tough out there and a whole lot of people want to be policemen, and to be a policeman here in Fairlawn, it just can’t be any better,” he said. “I don’t think there’s a policeman standing in this room who regrets coming here or doesn’t consider themselves lucky also to have been appointed to the Fairlawn Police Department.”

Walsh said Honaker and Hendrickson were selected through the “civil service testing process.”

“We had three applicants, and these are the two that scored the highest,” he stated. “They were hired within a month of each other in September and October of ’08.”

Roth said it was “a privilege” to be able promote the officers.

“I look forward to many years of service from you both in the city of Fairlawn,” he told them.

Also during the meeting:

• An ordinance authorizing the mayor to enter into a services agreement with Frontier North Inc. was unanimously approved by Council.

Roth said the company handles some of the city’s phone service.

“Several months ago, we joined with a consortium of other governments and entities in the county in order to do group purchasing and negotiation of contracts. This is the fruit of it,” he said. “It’s actually a renegotiation of a contract with Frontier North Inc. We already have it, but under this negotiation we’re going to cut our bill by about $400 to $450 a month.”

According to the mayor, the city currently pays between $1,100 and $1,150 to Frontier North Inc. per month.

“It changes every month, but this will cut the bill to about $600 or $700 a month,” he said. “The savings all add up.”

• Fire Chief Russ Hose said his department handled an “unusual call” recently.

“In my 30 years, I haven’t had this one before. It came in as an alligator in a backyard down off South Smith Road. The guys went down there, and what they found was a 3-and-a-half-foot iguana,” he said. “It had gotten out of some water and crawled up a tree. It was a cold day, so it was very slow to react. They were able to take it and bring it up to the firehouse. It has found its owner, so it was met with a happy ending.”

• Council unanimously passed an ordinance authorizing Roth to “enter into a second extended and amended contract with Direct Energy Services for the purpose of providing natural gas for the city’s opt-in natural gas aggregation program.”

“If you’ve been following in the newspapers, gas has been pretty much at a historic low, but now it’s starting to waver a little,” he said. “If Council sees fit to pass this, I can contact the aggregator to see what’s a good day to strike. We’re giving the residents a choice. We encourage them to shop around and get the best deal they can, but this is at least a fallback. And there’s been some years we’ve had the better price.”

• Zoning, Housing & Residential Building Commissioner Christopher Randles said the city is going to be starting its annual inspection program next week.

“We sent out over 700 letters and notices of the inspections,” he said.

• Deputy Service Director Ernie Staten called the city’s May 19 Beautification Day “a success.”

“We collected over 400 yards of debris … that’s about 600 tons,” he said.

• Council passed a resolution proclaiming June 18, 2012, as “The War of 1812 Remembrance Day.”

Council also approved a resolution proclaiming May 20 through 26 as “National Emergency Medical Service Week” in the city of Fairlawn.

The next Council meeting is set for June 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Fairlawn City Hall, 3487 S. Smith Road. The next Committee-of-the-Whole meeting is scheduled for May 30 at 6 p.m. in City Hall.

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