Allen Potter Chief of Police
Welcome to the Jackson Police Department online -- our internet "home" and public information center. Feel free to browse our website and learn more about our agency, including our officers, our various services and some 9-1-1 and crime prevention tips. The Jackson Police Department stands ready, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, to provide a variety of police related emergency services to our city and its residents.
In partnership with all segments of our community, the Jackson Police Department will provide for the general protection, safety and well being of our residents, businesses and visitors. This will be accomplished through a proactive approach in the prevention, deterrence, detection and investigation of criminal activity.
The Jackson Police Department will contribute to the highest quality of life through the assistance, cooperation, involvement and interaction of our citizens. All activities of the Jackson Police Department will be conducted lawfully in accordance with the ordinances of the city of Jackson, and the laws of state of Ohio and the United States of America.
The Jackson Police Department is the largest and busiest full-time law enforcement agency in Jackson County. We are authorized at 20 sworn officers, 7 civilian employees and up to 10 fully-trained and certified auxiliary patrol officers. We provide police service to a community of 6,100 with a daily influx of around 15,000 citizens, employees and visitors.
If I can be of assistance, please write, call, e-mail or stop by the police station. Enjoy the website.
Chief of Police Allen Potter
The mission of the Jackson Police Department is to protect the lives and property of the citizens of the city of Jackson as well as those who work or visit here. Our goal is to prevent crime when possible and to apprehend and prosecute those responsible for committing crimes when deterrence or prevention measures fail.
The Jackson Police Department currently operates with a staff of 25 employees, including 18 full-time commissioned police officers. The administration division is comprised of a Chief and an Assistant Chief. The patrol division has five sergeants and eleven patrol officers, with two officers working as investigators. Two patrol officers operate our bicycle patrol during the spring and summer seasons. Our department also has six communications officers (one is part-time) and one secretary.
Road officers work four 10 hour shifts a week in a staggered, "overlay" fashion, allowing for extra coverage during peak call times and days. Communications personnel, administrators and our secretary work the more traditional 8 hour shift. One patrol officer and one communications officer are assigned as fill-in personnel, covering both scheduled and emergency time off shifts for other employees. These positions greatly reduce the amount of forced overtime and allow for additional scheduling flexibility. When not covering vacations, holidays or sick leave, the fill-in employees are assigned as additional staffing during peak times.
All patrol division officers and communications employees are represented by the Fraternal Order of Police. There is a 10 officer volunteer police auxiliary unit within the patrol division.
The area around Jackson was first settled in the late 1700's by people who came here to mine salt. In the days before food could be refrigerated, salt was the only way to keep precious meat and perishable food from spoiling, and was critical to maintaining our nation's food supply. The Federally-protected salt licks were located near the western end of Wood Avenue (near the present city wastewater plant) and along East Broadway Street near Luigino's.
The unincorporated area surrounding Jackson was chartered as LICK TOWNSHIP, to acknowledge the area's salt licks and their importance to the United States. The original name of the unincorporated community was "Poplar Row", because of the rows of Poplar trees along what is now Water Street. Poplar Row's name was changed to "Jackson" in the early 1830's and the community became an incorporated village under Ohio law. Jackson, Ohio officially became a city on January 1, 1912. The original city mayor was James Wheldon.
From 1910 to 1912, the village Marshal was Vance Ambrose. When Jackson was incorporated as a city, Mr. Ambrose was named the first Chief of Police. Vance Ambrose served as chief from 1912 to 1914. The first two patrolmen were Wes Steele and David Markham. Succeeding Chief Ambrose as the city's second police chief was C.W. (Wall) Jacobs. He served in that position from 1914 until 1941. The third chief was Otto Hacker. Mr. Hacker was chief from 1941 until 1958. Following him as chief was Elba Ross. He was chief from 1958 until 1971. The fifth Chief of Police was Herman Stiles. Stiles served as chief from 1971 until 1979. Following Herman Stiles was C. Wayne Kight. Mr. Kight was chief from 1979 until his retirement in 1988. The seventh chief, retiring in February 2001, was Ted Penix. the eighth chief, Carl A. Eisnaugle, served from April 2001 to November 2018.
Allen Potter was sworn in as the city's ninth Chief of Police on Monday, December 10, 2018. Pictures of all the former police chiefs and police stations are in the lobby of our current police station.
Jackson's first police station was located on Main Street in a small building known as The Roundhouse, an historic structure that still stands today. The second police station was upstairs over the former Pearl Street fire station (condemned and demolished in the mid 1970's), now a parking lot next to National City Bank's drive-thru. The third station was on the main floor of the Memorial Building at 145 Broadway Street. This building still serves as City Hall and contains the offices of the Mayor, Safety and Service Director, Law Director, Treasurer, Auditor and other city offices.
The Jackson Police Department moved into its fourth and current police station in 1997. Our address is 199 Portsmouth Street, just across the alley and behind the Memorial Building. The current home of the Jackson Police Department formerly housed the Sundry News Company, and before that, the local Coca-Cola Bottling Plant. The original structure was constructed in the 1940's.
From our beginning in 1912 until the present time, there have been a total of 177 full-time employees and 51 auxiliary officers with the department. The present staff includes twenty police officers, five communications officers, one secretary, and one canine. There are also ten auxiliary officer positions allocated by city ordinance.
The Jackson Police Department provides conventional police services along with a crime prevention and community involvement (i.e. community policing) program.