Cedarville residents have lost another in a recent succession of police chiefs.
Joseph "Joe" Johnson resigned from his position as interim police chief after his position at G4S Secure Solutions changed his work hours to 12 hours a day, seven days a week, said Cedarville Mayor Glenanna O’Mara.
Johnson was sworn in Oct. 5 as interim police chief, just three days after former chief Mark Gentry was fired and six officers resigned from the Cedarville Police Department.
A phone call to Johnson was not returned, but he said in a Facebook post that he made the decision to resign with the support of O’Mara.
"I made this decision based on circumstances that arose that are beyond my control that limited the time I needed to spend doing my duties as the Chief," Johnson said in the post. "There is No[sic] other reason for my decision other than the best interest of the Citizens[sic] of Cedarville and the time needed to be there for them, that I currently cannot provide."
Blayne Irvin, a reserve officer with Cedarville and patrolman with the Van Buren Police Department, will serve temporarily as interim chief at least until the city council meeting Nov. 19, O’Mara said.
At that meeting, council members will be looking at different ways to approach the city’s hiring process, O’Mara said, including considering the creation of a resident review board.
"We really feel like the community oftentimes feels like they don’t get enough say in what happens," O’Mara said.
She said there is a need to hear from residents on their thoughts, and she supports the idea of involving them via review board.
"That’s our job, to listen to what our citizens are requesting of us," O’Mara said.
City officials also will be looking at the files of previous applicants for the chief position - one of which is Irvin - and may choose a chief from those, or may place an advertisement to receive new applications, O’Mara said.
Johnson will stay on as a reserve officer, O’Mara said.
"It makes us both sad but you still have much to offer as a reserve here during this transition time for Cedarville," O’Mara said to Johnson in the comments on his Facebook post. "Thank you for your service."
Johnson responded by promising to give his support to Irvin while he is acting chief.