WINTERSVILLE - The village bucked a nationwide trend on New Year's Day and added an officer to its police force.
Ettor Canestraro became Wintersville's ninth full-time officer on Jan. 1. Police Chief Ed Laman noted the village also has 10 auxiliary officers.
"Ettor was previously an auxiliary officer for the village after serving as a full-time officer in Steubenville," he explained. "He was working turns here and he is familiar with everything. He is a great fit for the department."
NEW?OFFICER — Ettor Canestraro, center, was sworn in as a full-time officer with the Wintersville Police Department on Jan. 1. Also on hand for the ceremony were Police Chief Ed Laman, left, and Mayor Bob Gale.
Mayor Bob Gale said he's is excited to be able to use current funding to bring another officer onto the force.
"With the current financial state of our economy and with other communities reducing their public safety forces, we thought it was important to do all we can to continue improving the safety of our residents and businesses in Wintersville," he said.
He explained that after moving money around in the budget, council voted unanimously to add a new officer to the department.
"The amount of money that we spend annually by not adding an officer is the same amount that we will spend by adding an officer," Gale said. "So, it obviously made more sense to hire a full-time officer."
The addition of Canestraro will cost the village $56,000, including his salary and health insurance, department overtime, increased ticket revenue and auxiliary pay.
The village would have paid the same amount for overtime pay and auxiliary officer pay only, officials noted.
"We feel very fortunate to obtain the services of such a highly educated and knowledgeable officer in Ettor. It is also an asset that Ettor is a lifelong Wintersville resident and he has proved that he truly cares about the safety and welfare of our residents and businesses alike," he added.
Laman explained that Canestraro will work a five-day-a-week schedule.
"He will work eight hours a day instead of 12-hour days like the other officers work," he said. "We did this because we will be able to utilize a second officer on daylight because we are starting to get busier during the daylight hours."
He said that Canestraro will serve mainly as a traffic officer.
"He will focus on the traffic in the village more than anything else, but he will also be able to assist on other things if needed," he said. "He will also focus more on Springdale and Locust avenues, where we have had some speeding problems in the past. Hopefully, having an extra officer on duty will minimize the speed problem throughout the village."
Gale advised those traveling to watch their speed throughout the entire village.
"You will see increased patrolling throughout the village, and we are committed to continue the practice of providing the safest community to live, shop and raise a family in the Tri-State Area," he said. "So, let it be known that anyone that violates our laws and ordinances will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Gale thanked the department for its service in keeping the village safe.
"Thanks to Chief Ed Laman and all of our other dedicated officers for their services and their commitment to the safety of the village," he added.
Canestraro, who has been an officer for three years, said he is excited about the opportunity ahead of him.
"I appreciate the village giving me the opportunity to serve the residents and the community that I grew up in," he said.
(Looman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)