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City swears in new, promoted department members

OFFICER: Mayor Scott Long swears in Officer John Hays to the Wabash City Police Department. Hays was one of four emergency personnel sworn in on Monday.

by ANDREW CHRISTMAN - achristman@wabashplaindealer.com

Two new and two promoted emergency personnel were sworn in during Monday evening’s Wabash City Council meeting.

John Hays was sworn on as a probationary patrolman for the Wabash City Police Department.

City Police say Hays brings three years of law enforcement experience with him, as he joined the Lawrence Police Department in January 2015.

“This is a great opportunity for me to come back home and serve where I grew up,” Hays said. “I look forward to meeting everyone, and I’m personable, so feel free to come up and talk to me.”

Hays is a certified traffic crash reconstructionist, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) gun liaison and a certified breath test operator. He will be filling the vacancy of recent retiree Capt. John Burnsworth, according to Mayor Scott Long.

For the Wabash Fire Department, Chad Bassett was sworn in as a probationary firefighter, while EMT Jacob Pegg was promoted to first class firefighter and paramedic and Scott Kirtlan was promoted to lieutenant paramedic.

WFD Chief Barry Stroup said Bassett has served as a volunteer firefighter for the Lagro Township Fire Department prior to coming to WFD. Bassett spent five years as an EMT too. Pegg has been with WFD for two years, and Kirtlan has been with the department for 12 and a half years, formerly serving as an inspector.

“Our department strives to provide the best service to our community, and these members will continue that tradition,” Stroup said.

Long said having new talent on both the fire and police departments will be good for the community.

“These two are definitely qualified candidates,” Long said. “Hays grew up in this area and decided he wanted to move back here and start a family. We’re fortunate to have him. He’s already been to the academy, and once he learns the streets and the way we do things, I’m sure he’ll do great.”