Henry tapped as St. C. police chief

ST. CLAIRSVILLE A new police chief has been named to lead the city’s finest. As a result of a special meeting Monday, Officer Jeff Henry was appointed as chief of police, to replace retiring chief Martin Kendzora.

Director of Public Safety Dennis Bigler made the announcement.

“Officer Henry has worked for the police department longer than any other officer,” Bigler stated. “He has a record of accomplishment, and the city is fortunate that he has agreed to accept the position. St. Clairsville has many fine officers.”

Henry thanked council for their trust with the security of the city. He will continue the process of working with the police committee, mayor and council to continue to adjust to the trying financial times.

“You have to do more with less. That’s what we’re going to have to do and continue to keep the services they way they are. A 24-hour department with a 24-hour dispatch,” he said. “We’re working at the bare bones.”

Henry said one of his goals is the involvement of officers with every aspect of the department’s operation.

In matters of law enforcement, Henry said a key ingredient is a familiarity with the citizens, the neighborhoods and their issues. He added that his door will always be open to citizens with concerns.

The position became vacant upon Kendzora’s decision to retire after 49 years in the police department, 38 of which were served as chief. Henry agreed that he will endeavor to continue to build upon the standards set by Kendzora.

“The city moves forward on a foundation that Martin laid,” added Bigler.

“Those are hard shoes to fill,” Henry said.

“I commend you for your selection. I know he’ll do a good job,” Kendzora said.

Mayor Robert Vincenzo welcomed Henry to the position and pledged continuing support and cooperation of his office.

Henry has two daughters and is the son of Pauline and the late Judge Kenneth Henry. He is a lifelong resident of St. Clairsville.

In other matters, council passed an ordinance authorizing work stipends and wage increases for law enforcement. As a result of a fact-finding study between the city, the Fraternal Order of Police/Ohio Labor Council, it was recommended that each bargaining unit member of the union receive a $1,000 lump sum stipend. Certain part-time employees will receive a $500 work stipend. Non-union employees will receive a wage increase. Union employees had not seen a wage increase or stipend for two to three years, and non-union employees had received a wage increase for three to six years.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com