IT IS time for Martins Ferry to put its house in order. The house in question is the city's police department.
Mayor Phil Wallace began the much needed process this past Thursday when he announced that he has received the resignation of Barry Carpenter as the city's police chief.
Carpenter was recently convicted by a Belmont County jury of two felony charges of theft in office and receiving stolen property. He was also convicted of tampering with evidence.
Under state statute, Carpenter was not legally allowed to continue on as a police chief. His resignation was basically a formality, but a needed one to begin the healing process.
The Martins Ferry Police Department has operated efficiently in Carpenter's absence. Still, it was a police force in need of a full-time chief.
Wallace plans to have Carpenter's full-time successor in place no later than two months. The mayor will select the new chief from in house. Lt. Phil Hartman and Sgts. John Bumba, Vern Trigg and John McFarland will be the four considered for the post.
We agree with Wallace's mode of thinking in keeping the selection process within the Ferry department. The officers have distinguished themselves before and after Carpenter's fall from grace. It is only fitting one will assume police-chief duties on a full-time basis.
Civil Service examinations will be administered to those seeking the position. After the testing is completed, Wallace will review each of the hopefuls on other aspects, including their work ethic.
We are quite confident Wallace will make the correct choice. He has his finger on the pulse on the city as well as its best interests at heart.
Time is a great healer.
The black eye that Carpenter delivered to the Martins Ferry Police Department will eventually disappear, and a sense of pride will be restored by a police chief well-schooled to lead a quality department.