Updated Mon, Jun 2, 2014 1:24 pm
Despite the circumstances surrounding his appointment as acting chief, Glouster Police Department officer Ryan Nagucki is looking forward to making progress within the department.
"It's going to be pretty hectic at first," Nagucki said. "We're going to focus on community policing and getting our officers out there and visible."
The acting chief is a Glouster resident who has an Associate's Degree in police science, six years experience in the Air National Guard and currently works full time as a corrections officer with the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail.
"He's mature, he's competent and he showed the leadership skills I didn't see in the other (candidates)," said Mayor Miles Wolf after Nagucki was approved as the acting chief on Tuesday.
He was chosen by Wolf to fill in while Lucas Mace is on unpaid administrative leave following a 12-count indictment filed this week in Athens County Common Pleas Court. The charges allege that Mace allowed a woman with active warrants to stay in his home and began dating the woman. The charges include counts of theft in office, dereliction of duty, obstructing justice, failure to aid a law enforcement officer and possessing criminal tools.
Nagucki was a serving as a part-time police officer for the department at the time of his appointment, but said he plans to work as much as he can to improve the department.
"It's going to be some work and I'm going to pick up more hours, but I have full faith in the officers," Nagucki said. "They are all really motivated and for the past couple days they've been working their tails off."
The department has two other part-time officers and one full-time officer.
The acting chief aims to curb the drug problem in the village with the help of surrounding agencies such as the Athens County Sheriff's Office and the Nelsonville Police Department. He said he met with representatives from both offices, including Sheriff Rodney Smith this week and they are "100 percent on board."
"I want to talk to businesses and do business checks," Nagucki said of his plans to confront the drug problem. "We're going to walk the streets and have a big presence in the area to attack this problem."