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Ludlow Hires Police Chief

After being without a police chief for all of 2015, Ludlow finally has their man in Scott Smith who comes from the Independence Police Department and will begin his new job as chief on July 20. 

Smith began his policing career in Newport before transferring to Independence where he worked as a sergeant before being named to a job he has coveted for some time. 

“I’ve been for the last three years positioning myself for this job and working to get where I am and try to bring a new approach to policing and trying to get rid of the old-school way of doing things. So, I am trying to bring a fresh perspective to this,” he said.

Smith prides himself on being a different breed of police chief than what he sees as the customary individual cities typically opt for. He indicated that it may not be the most popular move, but it’s one he’s prepared for.

“I’ve done it quick,” he said. “I’m going to get half the people to see if I fail and the other half are watching to see me succeed. It’s a big deal, because generally, most cities go with someone who has been doing it for 20 or 30 years, people who have been around the block, but a lot of cities have been burned with that idea. I’m coming in much younger than most chiefs, and I’m coming in educated. I have a lot more experience that I think I bring to the table that chiefs don’t have nowadays.”

Once on the job, Smith is excited to get to know Ludlow better by tapping into the community and demonstrating to its citizens that he and the police force care about the area they patrol and he hope to become involved in numerous community activities and organizations.  

“I’m not real familiar with Ludlow yet. I have several friends that live here, my wife has lot of friends in Ludlow, but I am familiar with the river city Newport kind of vibe and that type of policing. The good thing about Ludlow is that it is very community-oriented which is nice. I have a lot of ideas. I have a lot of background in nonprofit and charitable community programs so I’m going to bring a lot of the community together here. You’re going to see the cops here being much more involved in the community than they ever have done in the past. I can guarantee that we’re going to be doing a lot of things here in the community.”

Smith replaces former chief Steve Jarvis who abruptly resigned in December, leaving a void in the department for seven months. In the interim, Lt. Bart Beck has briefed City Council during meetings and while Beck was away training at the FBI Academy, Sgt. Eric Love handled those responsibilities. 

The position of police chief was not expected to be a rushed one, as City Administrator Elishia Chamberlain said in December when Jarvis left that the new candidate would be one that would stay with the city for a lengthy duration and not another chief that might leave after only a short time. The city hopes that Scott Smith will be that kind of fit in the department.

Other notes:

Public Works Project Manager Patrick Walkenhorst has already made efforts to provide enough rock salt for the city once the winter rolls back around. 

Walkenhorst said that while Ludlow has one salt dome that will house 150 tons of salt, but that another salt dome will be needed in order to store the entire order of over 300 tons.  The city is locked into one price for up to 400 tons of salt and will make their order in October.

The Ludlow Police Department is expected to obtain two more police vehicles which will be Dodge Chargers rather than SUVs to cut down on costs and take advantage of a longer warranty life.

“They’re considerably cheaper and they are still all-wheel drive.  With the Charger, the warranty was 80,000 miles and with the Ford products it was only around 32,000, so the warranty is almost more than double and that will make a considerable difference for maintenance down the road,” said Lt. Beck. 

Ludlow was awarded grant dollars from OKI for the second phase of the Riverfront Commons project that will go through the Ohio River banks there. Southbank Partners wrote and submitted the grant application on the city's behalf. The development will be 11.5 miles and run from Ludlow to Ft. Thomas. The first phase will begin as soon as an archeological study is completed. There is no specific time frame when work on the second phase will begin.  

Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor

Photo via Ludlow Police Facebook page