Updated Tue, Aug 5, 2014 4:39 pm
The acting chief of the Glouster Police Department has been officially named as the head of the agency.
Ryan Nagucki, a Glouster native and previously part-time officer for the department, was appointed as chief of police at Monday's meeting of the Glouster Village Council, according to Mayor Miles Wolf. The appointment goes into effect immediately.
The position, which pays an hourly salary of $15.65, was opened internally after Lucas Mace resigned at the end of July. Mace had been on unpaid leave since he was indicted by an Athens County grand jury in May. He was charged with 12 counts including three counts of obstructing justice, six counts of dereliction of duty and one count each of theft in office, possessing criminal tools and failure to aid a law enforcement officer. All charges except the dereliction of duty and failure to aid are felonies.
He is scheduled to change his plea on Friday.
Wolf announced the appointment of Nagucki in a news release sent to media outlets via text message on Monday night.
"I saw some positive changes come about after (Nagucki) started," Wolf told The Messenger on Tuesday. "He has boosted morale and I see things getting done that were put on the back burner for a long time."
Nagucki expressed his excitement in continuing the job he had been doing, and said his goals have not changed.
"Glouster's my hometown and I care about the community," Nagucki said. "This is a dream job for a guy like me, and I want the streets to be safe."
The new chief had worked as a part-time officer with the department prior to his appointment, while he also worked as a corrections officer for the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail.
His main goal is still to increase police presence in Glouster, and said he has had a lot of help from other agencies in the area, including the Athens County Sheriff's Office, the Athens County Prosecutor's Office and the Nelsonville Police Department.
An audit of the evidence room is going well, he said, and Sgt. Kevin Lemon, the other full time officer at the department, has "transformed" the way evidence is held. Nelsonville police officers helped with the audit, Nagucki said.
"I feel like (the department's) relationship with other agencies has really improved," Nagucki said.
Although the department lacks the manpower to join a major crimes task force, like the sheriff's office recently did, he said the department will be increasing its coverage of the Glouster area to make sure residents are safe.
"We're working to have auxiliary officers that are going to cover shifts when other officers call off so we still have people out there," Nagucki said.
The department currently has six auxiliary officers along with the two full-time officers (including Nagucki) and two part-time officers. The department is accepting applications for unpaid auxiliary officer positions.
Wolf said there are currently no plans to fill Nagucki's previous part-time position.