The Town Council of Ferdinand is hoping for a positive reaction to their choice for Ferdinand Police Chief.
The Council made an offer of conditional employment to 43 year old Ricky Patton, who currently resides in Jasper, but who has spent the past ten years as a Virginia State Trooper.
WITZ News confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Patton did accept the conditional offer for the position and will be given a drug screen as a condition of employment, which will administered on Monday.
Patton’s acceptance of the offer would make him the new Chief and would place him in a controversial situation after the Council asked former Chief Ted Bieker to step down into a patrolman’s role by serving as Captain of the department. The move comes from on-going issues between Bieker and the Council on the operations of the Department.
Town board President Ken Sicard, as well as board members Deb Johnson and Ron Weyer, acknowledged the difficulty in selecting Patton from the field of six candidates, including four current members of the town police force.
Each of the board members provided a different aspect of Patton’s background as a reason for choosing him as new Chief. Sicard touted Patton’s management skills from owning his own business. Weyer cited Patton’s experience as a training officer with Virginia State police as a major positive, while Johnson talked about new ideas and a fresh perspective he would bring to the position.
Additionally, he has one year to fulfill Indiana Law Enforcement Academy requirements and to establish his residence within Ferdinand or a two-mile perimeter of town.
One other change to the force was made Tuesday night: Lt. Rob Randle, who was assigned as interim Chief since Bieker’s resignation, was offered and accepted a promotion to the Assistant Chief’s position, which takes effect immediately.