A new Beeson takes oath as Salem cop

SALEM – Another piece of the personnel puzzle fell into place for the Salem Police Department Wednesday, with David Beeson taking his oath as a full-time patrolman.

The 24-year-old 2007 graduate of Salem High School became the newest member of the department, following in the footsteps of his uncle, Lt. Don Beeson, who is the most tenured member of the department with 33 years served and counting. Another uncle, Todd Beeson, previously served as Goshen Township Police Chief.

Several members of the family were on hand for the swearing-in ceremony in council chambers, including David’s wife, Brittney, who pinned his badge to his uniform. Other family members present included his parents, Kerry and Carol, his sister Alli, his father-in-law Doug McCollum, his grandmother Jody Seese and his grandfather Joe Crawford.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology and political science from The Ohio State University and earned his police officer certification at the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy at Kent State University. His law enforcement career began in June 2012 with the Salem Police Auxiliary and he had been working part-time with the Lisbon Police Department before accepting the job in Salem, which required him to take a civil service examination with other candidates for the opening.

Chief J.T. Panezott said there will be more moves to come in the department, with another swearing-in ceremony expected soon for a second patrolman and the promotion of a current patrolman to sergeant.

Panezott’s tenure as chief began Feb. 1 and it’s already been filled with roster moves due to his promotion, a patrolman’s resignation, former Chief Bob Floor’s retirement and a plan to have a shift sergeant assigned part-time to the Columbiana County Drug Task Force move to full-time with the DTF as a special duty sergeant.

He’s waiting for physical and psychological testing to be completed on the second patrolman candidate before that person can be hired. Once that patrolman is in place, Patrolman Danny Green will be promoted to sergeant and the sergeant working part-time with the DTF will be assigned to the DTF full-time. The moves will increase the total number of officers from 19 to 20, which is still less than they had several years ago.

Dispatcher Tina Cutright has been promoted to the new position of telecommunications specialist, to serve as a supervisor for the dispatchers while still working as a dispatcher. All dispatchers work part-time, with six regulars on the schedule. The department had advertised for substitute dispatchers to help cover the schedule when necessary, with one hired so far. Panezott said he’s losing one of his regular dispatchers to Boardman.

Applications are being accepted for the position of part-time secretary for the police department, another position Panezott has been pushing to get filled. The department lost its longtime full-time secretary to layoff a few years ago, with the duties split between the chief and the administrative lieutenant, Don Beeson. Floor had asked for the position to be filled and asked for them to at least create a part-time position.

The position was created, but permission to fill it was just given recently.

Mary Ann Greier can be reached at mgreier@salemnews.net