By Martha Jacob –
The Ripley Police Department is at its peak as it moves into the new year, according to Police Chief Joel Barnett.
“We are looking forward to starting our new year here at the Ripley Police Department,” said Chief Barnett. “We have a great group of guys that are all very determined in being successful in their careers here at our department.
“These guys have stood behind me since day one and I’m excited to see what we can all do together as a department. We all kind of share the same thoughts and want to do more to get in touch with our community and especially our youth.”
Chief Barnett said that the members of his department are fighting hard in helping to get control of the ongoing drug problem that communities are facing everywhere.
“Last year we started the Night Out at the Park with the guidance of Corporal Josh Miller,” Barnett said. “It helped form bonds with the community and we all enjoyed it and look forward to it this year.”
The Ripley Police Department includes the following officers:
• Corporal Josh Miller went through the Law Enforcement program at the Greenfield Peace Officers Academy in 2010 and studied at Southern State Community College where he received the equivalent Associates degree in Law enforcement. He began his career in 2011 with the Mowrystown Police Department and later joined the Ripley Department, he took a position as Sergeant with the Aberdeen department where he became a supervisor, DEO officer and a firearms instructor. Miller returned to the Ripley Police Department in 2016.
• Sergeant Corey S. Herren began his career in law enforcement in 2000, first with the Williamsburg Police. From 2004 to 2013 he was with the Georgetown Police Department and joined the Ripley Police in 2013. In September of 2016 Sgt. Herren became a certified K9 handler and works daily with his K9 partner Bragi. He is the founder and president of the Iron Shields Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, Georgetown Chapter. The group established its own charity called the Mourning Stripe which donates to officers and their families.
• Officer Robert Hensley is a police officer with the Ripley Police Department as well as the Georgetown Police Department. He began his law enforcement career in 1993 with the Williamsburg Police Department until 1999 when he went to work for the Georgetown Police Department. Officer Hensley then started working for the Ripley Police Department in 2016. Officer Hensley has multiple certifications and special training in many areas of law enforcement.
• Patrolman Donald J. Smith is a police officer with the Village of Ripley. Patrolman Smith started his career in law enforcement in 2012 with the Village of Ripley. Patrolman Smith left the Village of Ripley and became commissioned as a State Trooper in the Ohio State Highway Patrol in 2015. In 2016 Patrolman Smith left the OSHP to return to work for his hometown at the Village of Ripley. Patrolman Smith also has the equivalency of an associates degree in criminal justice through Southern State Community College.
• Chief Joel Barnett attended Southern Hills JVS Peace Officers Academy graduating in 2010. Chief Barnett started his career at the West Union Police Department in 2010 and left the West Union department in 2011 to pursue a career at the Ripley Police Department. He has been with the Ripley Police Department since 2011 and has been very successful in his career with the department. He has moved to a supervisor position fairly quickly in acknowledgement of his skills, attitude and determination to make a difference in the Ripley community. Barnett was appointed Chief of the department after the retirement of Chief Bowman.
• Officer Michael D. Metzger was born in Indiana, raised by a single mother and lived overseas in England where he attended military school before returning the states. Officer Metzger graduated from West Union High School in 2006 and then attended Southern State Community College where he earned his associates in criminal justice. He also graduated from The Peace Officer’s Training Academy. From there he held a position in Aberdeen for approximately six months before going to Leesburg where he worked for almost two years. Metzger has been with the Ripley Police Department for a few months. When he is not on duty he enjoys spending time with his dogs Beefcake and BaconBits.
• Officer Chase Pendleton originally pursued a career in the medical field but after getting married, decided to get into the law enforcement field. He has worked nearly five years in a pharmacy. After moving to Brown County he was convinced by a Georgetown officer to get into law enforcement. He admits that his knowledge of drugs has helped with the fight against drug abuse on the streets. Officer Pendleton received a degree from the Southern Hills Police Academy and has served as an officer for nearly two years. He worked a short time in Georgetown and has continued his career with the Ripley Police Department.
“We are all working for this village and we want to give back to our community in any way we can,” Chief Barnett said. “We have recently started a facebook page to make the connection with our community a little easier. We can receive messages and tips on facebook and try to reply back as quickly as we can.”