Henry Picked As New Chief

A new police chief has been named to lead St. Clairsville’s finest.

During a special meeting Monday, City Council appointed Officer Jeff Henry as chief of police. He will replace retiring Chief Martin Kendzora.

Public Safety Director Dennis Bigler made the announcement.

“Officer Henry has worked for the police department longer than any other officer,” Bigler said. “He has a record of accomplishment, and the city is fortunate that he has agreed to accept the position. St. Clairsville has many fine officers.”

Henry thanked council members for trusting him with the security of the city. He said he will continue working with the police committee, mayor and council to adjust to trying financial times.

“You have to do more with less. That’s what we’re going to have to do and continue to keep the services they way they are – a 24-hour department with a 24-hour dispatch,” he said. “We’re working at the bare bones.”

Henry said one of his goals is to involve officers with every aspect of the department’s operation. Henry said a key is familiarity with residents, neighborhoods and their issues. He added that his door will always be open to residents with concerns.

Kendzora decided to retire after 49 years with the police department, 38 of which were served as chief. Henry said he will continue to build on the standards set by Kendzora.

“The city moves forward on a foundation that Martin laid,” added Bigler.

“Those are hard shoes to fill,” Henry said.

“I commend you for your selection. I know he’ll do a good job,” Kendzora said.

Mayor Robert Vincenzo welcomed Henry to the position and pledged continuing support and cooperation.

Henry has two daughters and is the son of Pauline and the late Judge Kenneth Henry. He is a lifelong resident of St. Clairsville.

In other matters, council passed an ordinance authorizing work stipends and wage increases for law enforcement. As a result of a fact-finding study between the city and the Fraternal Order of Police/Ohio Labor Council, it was recommended that each member of the union receive a $1,000 lump sum stipend. Certain part-time employees will receive a $500 stipend. Non-union employees will receive a wage increase.