PDT Staff Writer
Interim Police Chief Robert Ware saw the interim status of his title removed Monday afternoon.
“I’m very relieved,” Robert Ware said Monday, minutes after being told he scored the highest on the Portsmouth Police Chief exam. “It has been a very arduous process, the length of time it took for the city to get to this point certainly did not help in that anxiety.”
Ware said there is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to implementing long-term change while you do not know who the boss is going to be. The uncertainly lessened when Ware’s higher test score on the chief exam made him the choice as the next Portsmouth Chief of Police Monday.
In February, Ware settled in as interim chief replacing long-time chief Charles Horner who retired to campaign for Scioto County Sheriff, a race in which he finished third out of the three candidates.
Ware moved automatically into that interim position because, at the time, he was the only captain on the force, after Captain David Thoroughman left to become director of security at Shawnee State University.
Since that time, Lynn Brewer scored the highest among the lieutenants to become a captain, then took the chief exam, alongside Ware.
Monday the Scioto County Civil Service Commission announced the results of the exam, and Ware scored 88.044, while Brewer had a 77.372. The two had the same level of seniority and efficiency.
“You had two very good qualified test takers competing for that position, and it has been that way our whole career,” Ware said. “Lynn and I have been neck and neck in every promotion. So I’m just very relieved and excited.”
Ware said he likes working with Brewer.
“I honestly believe what Lynn and I can bring to this table, that we can make a big difference down here,” Ware said. “We both share a lot of the same mindset as to how we can make the department more professional, and we’re going to take off with those ideas now.”
Ware said top priority for him when he began as interim chief was to get morale up and re-acclimate his officers to returning to the city building. The department had been moved for over a year when black mold was discovered, bringing about an abatement program that required the department to relocate.
With Ware moving up, another captain’s position is created and Ware was asked how many people are now qualified to that the captain exam.
“Depending on when that test is given there would be two lieutenants who previously competed with Lynn for that job,” Ware said. “And should it be given any sooner than that, it could open up to other members of the department.”
Portsmouth Mayor David Malone was at the meeting and expressed his confidence in Ware and the job he has done as interim chief, and said he will get together with Ware to set a time for a swearing in ceremony.
Ware’s promotion comes on a day in which Sandusky, Ohio authorities announced the names of the seven candidates for their police chief position, one of the candidates is Ware.
“Obviously I applied for it because I thought that it would fit who I am, and where I want to go as a professional police officer,” Ware said. “I also have the family considerations to take into account. And now, actually receiving this promotion puts some more thought into that. Certainly I think that I’m very capable of helping any city and I’m very driven to becoming a better professional and taking on those extra challenges and opportunities.”
Ware said there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to moving across the state to accept a position should it be offered.
“There’s family, networking, this is my home. I have lived here all of my life,” Ware said. “At the same time, we need to make our positions attractive enough to retain. If I’m willing to look outside to better myself financially, then maybe as a city we need to look at our department heads and our salaries, and are they being paid enough?”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at email@example.com