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August 11, 2022

21-Year-Old Named Police Chief in New Athens Ohio

After four years of no law enforcement, New Athens, Ohio, has named a new Chief of Police. Sabin Ward, a 21-year-old with just 18 months of law enforcement experience, has been sworn in as the new Chief of Police.

Ward, a 2020 graduate of Martins Ferry High School, began his first shift as Chief shortly after the ceremony where mayor Joe Petro swore in the young Chief. Ward started his first shift filling out paperwork and organizing and updating equipment. In an interview with local news, Ward stated he will, “hopefully by next I’ll be on the road patrolling and showing a police presence.”

According to Ward, law enforcement has been his dream since he was a child, citing his father as a police officer and his mother as a dispatcher. Ward stated, “I’ve been around law enforcement my whole life. I’ve wanted to be a cop since I was a little boy, and I just followed through with it. I kept pushing at what I wanted to do, and now I’m here.”

Ward has worked as a full-time officer for the Bellaire Police Department and is currently employed. Ward understands his age will be scrutinized, but he’s ready for the challenge stating, “being the age that I am puts a big responsibility on me, and I think I’m ready for that responsibility.”

Ward has big plans for the community of New Athens, citing his plan to “do a lot of community-based stuff to get back with the community after them not having police officers for almost four years and to show them that we’re out here doing the best we can to help out. I want the community to know the police department is someone they can come to when they need help.” To achieve that goal, Ward has plans to hire several officers to provide a steady amount of coverage in the village.

New Athens City Council held a special meeting where they unanimously voted to hire Ward as the new Chief of Police and stated in an interview that they had been looking for someone to take the place of the previous Chief of Police but hadn’t found the right fit.

Mayor Joe Petro stated, “Sabin seems to be a pretty good individual. He’s young, he’s got all the training necessary, and he’s worked under some good people that have shown him the ropes, so to speak. So I think he’s going to work out well for us.”