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Ferry police chief praises officers for ‘outstanding job’ during pandemic

Hoping for a return to normalcy in 2021

MARTINS FERRY police Officer Shamus Nixon on Tuesday scrubs away the road salt left behind on a cruiser from recent snowy weather.

MARTINS FERRY — Martins Ferry Police Chief John McFarland said 2020 proved to be a challenging year for his department, but his officers still did a lot of great work.

“The pandemic has caused giant changes on how we operated in the police department,” he said, referring to the COVID-19 virus. “The police department employees have done an outstanding job at protecting themselves and everyone around them. Our caseload has continued to be the same as recent years.”

One case McFarland referred to was the Dollar General store robbery last August. He said his officers did an “outstanding job,” solving the case and making an arrest quickly.

“The investigations into the importuning cases were very positive and helped to protect children. The officers continue to investigate drug cases constantly, and we will continue to fight that battle. The citizens of Martins Ferry renewed our police levy and we thank them very much for their support,” he added.

For 2021, McFarland said he is hoping to get his department fully staffed again. He also would like to upgrade some smaller equipment at the headquarters that is outdated.

He also wants everyone to be COVID-19 free so the community gets back to normal.

“I would like to get the officers in the department some additional trainings this coming year — instructor courses that a couple officers can attend, so they can come back and train the other officers,” he added

McFarland said his department has “the finest police officers around.”

“I’m very proud of all of them. It’s really encouraging to see the senior officers helping the younger, newer officers in investigating different cases. The younger officers are catching on very well. I hope the officers continue to work great and stay safe and healthy for 2021,” McFarland added.

He also noted he looks forward to working with Belmont County’s new prosecutor on cases.

“We will be getting a new prosecuting attorney in 2021. I would like to thank Mr. Dan Fry (retiring prosecutor) for everything he has done to help us over the years. Mr. John K. Flanagan will be taking his place as head county prosecutor. We have been working with Mr. Flanagan for many years. I’m sure he will have no issues in continuing the great work at the prosecutor’s office,” he said.

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