WELLSVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – It was an emotional night in Wellsville as Lt. Ed Wilson was sworn in as chief of the Wellsville Police Department.
Village council voted on Wilson’s appointment during a meeting on Tuesday night. Wilson’s appointment was met by applause, and Wellsville City Hall was packed to capacity, with people spilling out into the hall.
“The Wellsville community is my life,” Wilson said of the new position.
Wilson has served as the interim chief over the last 20 months, after former chief Joe Scarabino passed away in May 2014. Wellsville Mayor Nancy Murray said the community has been largely supportive of Wilson at the helm.
“The voters spoke in November,” she said. “They wanted a chief of police, and I got more people wanting me to support Ed and the community, and I would’ve supported him anyways.”
Scarabino’s daughters pinned Wilson’s chief pin on him on Tuesday. Wilson said nothing will change now that he has the official title.
“As a lieutenant or as a patrolman, I’ve always tried to do what a chief would do,” he said.
Wilson had a strong backing from not only the people, but also City Council.
“He’s a very caring and compassionate person about this community. We’ve always been a tight-knit community, and we always looks for a chief who is from the community that knows the people and is part of the town,” said Wellsville Councilman John Morrow.
Wilson says he could have left the community and made more money elsewhere, but he just cannot picture living anywhere else.
“I was born, raised here. Never felt like I didn’t belong here,” he said. “This is the place I’ve grown up. I have no intentions on leaving.”
He said he will try to follow in Scarabino’s footsteps and carry on what the two worked on together.
Murray said she is confident Wilson will succeed in his new role.
“I think Ed’s going to make a good leader,” she said. “All the patrolmen over there respect Ed. The voters let me know that’s who they wanted, and Ed’s been here for so long and he does a fine job. He’s done the job for two years, and I think it’s going to make a big change to our police department.”