ANSONIA–John B. Puckett has been selected to serve as the Police Chief of Ansonia, succeeding Frank Shapiro, who retired at the end of November.
He has spent much of his time in the beginning here organizing the office, with the help of Shapiro, which he appreciated.
Puckett was born in Bellefontaine and graduated in 1990 from Kenton High School, where he was involved with the weightlifting team.
He also received his human resource degree from Rhodes State College.
He will be commuting to Ansonia from Fort Loramie, where he owns a house.
“It’s only 25 minutes away,” said Puckett, whose hours in the village are generally Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but that could vary.
He has worked for five other law enforcement agencies: Hardin County Sheriff’s Department, Jackson Center Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, West Liberty Police Department, and Port Jefferson Police Department, the latter as chief.
He said he learned about the chief’s position in Ansonia from a friend at the Versailles Police Department.
Puckett, a certified police instructor for the Ohio Police Academy, said he was impressed with Ansonia when he first came to meet with the village council.
“They are down to earth and pro-law enforcement,” said Puckett.
He will soon be hiring a police officer, Donald Kennedy of Dayton, who is finishing up 16 hours of training.
Ansonia’s new chief, who will turn 51 on Feb. 7, has wanted to work in law enforcement since he was a young boy.
“I wanted to be the person who could stand up for those who could not handle issues,” he said.
He has been in a few sticky situations before, one of which he was serving papers to a man for a misdemeanor traffic violation.
“There were only two deputies on our department there, and we each worked 12 hours,” he recalled. “I went up and knocked on the door, and finally, this big man opened it. I asked him to step outside, and he refused. It ended up that I got thrown around like a ragdoll. It was a hideous situation.”
So far in Ansonia, he has had two incidences. And he handled them with no problem.
Puckett, who is single, is the father of six grown children and has six grandchildren, all from the Kenton and Bellefontaine areas.
The only one to follow in his footsteps is his oldest son, John Jr., who is a deputy for the Logan County Sheriff’s Department.
Yes, he has worked for bigger cities and bigger counties, but he’s satisfied being here.
“Here, you can actually get involved with the public,” he said.
And he plans to do just that.
He is the second to the youngest of seven children and the first law enforcement officer in his family.
What does he do in his spare time?
“I go to the gym and spend time working out, spend time with my family, and do a lot of walking,” he said. “I also collect movie cars.”
He is also a member of the Masons in Port Jefferson.
What are his plans for Ansonia? “I want to definitely strengthen community relations and grow this department,” he replied. “Everybody is great, and the community is super nice to me.”