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New Ludlow Police Chief Has Law Enforcement in His Blood

As a kid, the most Victorian homes Steve Jarvis could find in his native southern California were in the Redlands. Now he lives in an area where they are abundant. "The first time my wife and I rode down Route Eight, we were ga-ga," Jarvis said Wednesday evening shortly after being sworn in as the city's new police chief.

"This city is a diamond in the rough. I love this city," he said.

Mayor Ken Wynn ceremonially swore in Jarvis at a special meeting at City Hall where Jarvis made his first official report as chief, announcing that Ludlow received $7,000 from the US Marshals fugitive task force.

Now he gets down to business, implementing an old-school style of community policing like his father and grandfather practiced before police cruisers removed officers from a regular beat on the sidewalks. 

"We were extracted from the community by cars," Jarvis said, "but the old beat cops, they know everything." At one and a half square miles, Ludlow can be an easy walk and Jarvis has already introduced himself to all but three businesses in town. "That's what it's about. Getting in the community and being involved in it."

"I'll do a lot of management by walking around," said Jarvis, 64. Community policing is in the blood of this third-generation law enforcement officer whose 86-year old father was an under-sheriff in their native San Bernardino, California and still volunteers at a nearby police department.

Jarvis and his wife moved to Ludlow in 2006 and while they currently reside in Boone County, they are looking to make the move to the city when they can find a house with a garage large enough to accommodate his car collection. His wife will be involved in the community, too, and they also have plans to open a restaurant there someday soon.

"When you hire me, you hire a Mrs. Chief, too," Jarvis joked of his wife, Kathy, whose father was also a police officer.

In San Bernardino, Jarvis retired from the police department as a commander in 2002. He and Kathy moved to Northern Kentucky to be closer to their youngest daughter, a student at the University of Kentucky.

While the landscape is different, the work is familiar to Jarvis, who has worked in Ludlow as a part-time detective since late last year. "It's just in the blood," he said of his family's police work. "We're old fire horses who line up in front of the pumpers."

Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

Photo: Jarvis is sworn in by Wynn

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