Woodsfield’s Young retires from law enforcement

WOODSFIELD resident Mike Young has retired from a full-time law enforcement career, but he intends to remain as the Woodsfield fire chief.

Young, who became involved in law enforcement in 1987, already has begun his work as a gas and oil land man. His gas and oil work will be in Monroe, Belmont, Noble and Guernsey counties.

As to law enforcement, he said, “It’s changed a bunch. There are so many things changed, it’s unbelievable.”

Citing the increase in drug activity as a major and obvious change, Young said, “It’s a major problem everywhere, not just in town.”

Young began his work in law enforcement in 1987 in Monroe County when F.L. “Tinker” Sulsberger Jr. was sheriff. He also was the Beallsville chief of police for about two-and-a-half years and began his work in Woodsfield in 1991. He recently had been serving as assistant police chief.

For eight-and-a-half years, Young was a part-time probation officer for Monroe County Court Judge James W. Peters.

“I’ve had good things and bad things happen during my work,” he said.

A lifelong resident of Woodsfield, he attended Swiss Hills Career Center and was graduated in 1987. He obtained his law enforcement training at Hocking Technical College, located at Nelsonville.

Young has been chief of the Woodsfield Volunteer Fire Department for more than 10 years.

While he has been serving as fire chief, the fire apparatus has been upgraded, and a new fire engine was purchased. Young said, however, another new fire engine probably would be needed in the next two to three years.

He said a blaze at Heartland Retreaders in early August 2005 was a major fire affecting Woodsfield in the last several years. Fire crews from five counties and two states managed to get the massive fire under control.

At the time of the blaze, Young told how proud he was of the fire crews as they were quick to control the fire and were able to prevent it from spreading to the rest of the block.

Serving as fire chief and as a police officer resulted in an unusual experience for Young several years ago.

He was working as a police officer when a fire occurred on Ohio 255 near Woodsfield. It was a house fire, and the owners kept stray dogs on the property. It led to Young’s unexpected encounter with a Great Dane on a muddy day.

Young said when he was changing from his police uniform to his fireman’s uniform in his pick-up truck, “The Great Dane jumped in there, and I couldn’t get him out. The inside (of the vehicle) was covered with mud.”

The Monroe County man has pleasant memories about working as a police officer in Woodsfield. “The village of Woodsfield was good to me. I have no regrets about entering the field of law enforcement,” he noted. “I liked everyone I worked with.”

Even though his occupation has changed, he’ll still be involved in Woodsfield in two capacities. In addition to continuing as fire chief, Young intends to serve as an auxiliary police officer.

Pokas can be reached at bettypokas@yahoo.com.