The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

December 23, 2012

Jefferson police chief is stepping down to become part-time training officer

Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — The life of a small town police chief has been fulfilling for Steve Febel who has held the position for 22 years.

“I like all aspects of the job,” Febel said of his ability to train, investigate and stay in touch with the community.

“I’ve been quite active over the years,” said Febel of his time on the SWAT team, arson investigation unit, a gang unit and many other experiences.

The Jefferson Police Department has five full-time officers, a 32-hour officer and 14 part-time officers, Febel said. He will be making the transition from chief to part-time officer, where he will serve as training officer.

The small town aspect of the job is enjoyable, but it has its challenges, Febel said. “Death notices are hard because you know everybody so well,” he said.

Febel said investigating crimes in the village wasn’t an issue. I let the evidence do the talking,” he said.

One of the more unique events during Febel’s career was coming up on a burglary at the old Jefferson Pharmacy and calling for backup at shift change.

“When the guy came out the window you heard eight shotguns cracking,” Febel said.

He also remembers a traffic stop when a man went to grab his license and a $100 bill fell out of his wallet. He said the man’s wife grabbed it before it fell two inches.

“There goes my fishing trip,” Febel said the man said.

Febel said one change in the last 33 years is the inability of schools to punish children by paddling. He said the schools do a good job, but need the tools to discipline.

“It seems today they (students) aren’t responsible for their actions,” he said.

Febel said he has enjoyed working for all of the mayors during the last 22 years. He said he has a special appreciation for Stan Nizen who appointed him to the job.

“I give that man a lot of credit,” he said.

Febel said assistant chief Dave Wassie will be the interim chief until a permanent chief is appointed.

“Dave has been trained for the job. I hope he gets it,” Febel said.