Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Aaron Kephart is now the 12th officer of the Washington Police Department after a swearing-in ceremony at the mayor’s office Monday morning.
“As mayor of the city of Washington I consider this one of my best duties because of the importance of public safety,” Mayor Jaron Rosien said. “I’d like to welcome you to the police department … I have tremendous respect for the work that you do that ranges from door unlocks to courtesy during traffic stops to assisting people in times of need.”
Kephart, a former Police Chief for the city of Sigourney, has 10 years of experience as an officer.
“I’m just grateful for the opportunity and I look forward to serving the city of Washington and becoming a member of the city,” Kephart said. “I always want to serve in the community that I’m in, and honestly it helped having an older brother here. I was kind of following in his footsteps, really.”
The addition of a 12th officer is the city’s answer to Police Chief Jim Lester’s requests to relieve a department he said was often overworked.
“It will provide us more officers on the street,” he said. “It will also help us on budgetary stuff as far as cutting back on overtime (and) give officers time to take some vacation without having someone come in on their days off, it allows more flexibility within our schedule.”
While the position has a residency requirement — officers must respond to calls in the city within 20 minutes — Rosien said the department was flexible during the transition.
“We have an excellent department that focuses on being a good team,” he said. “With the real estate market, when there’s efforts being made … the chief and the police department work to meet that residency requirement in a timely fashion that’s reasonable for all parties.”