After nearly 45 years of law enforcement service, Wintersville police chief Ed Laman is retiring. Laman is a lifetime resident of Jefferson County, graduating from Catholic Central in 1967 before starting his career with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department in 1971. He then worked for the Dillonvale Police Department, before going to Wintersville in 1974. The chief has also been a teacher with the police academy for nearly 40 years. He has taught a number of law enforcement officers from across the county in class.
He became chief in 2000 taking over for 38 year chief Victor Calabrese. Recent unrest throughout the country, such as in Baltimore and Ferguson played into his retirement decision.
“They always said that you will know when it’s time to go, and it was my time,” said Laman. “I’ve been doing it for so long. With everything that’s happening now– this type of business is for the young guy.”
However, he believes law enforcement in the area is still respected by the public.
“In Jefferson County, people still respect the police… they want to listen to them. You don’t have that situation where people are downright defiant against the police,” he added.
Chief Laman will be missed by his deputies as well as colleagues.
“He’s really been a great guy to work with,” said Steubenville Police Chief Bill McCafferty. “It’s been enjoyable over the years. (I’m) sad to see him go, but he’s worked a lot of years in law enforcement, and he deserves a good retirement.”
“This department here was always close knit. We have nice FOP that all the officers belong to. That’s a way of comradery,” says Laman.
He says one of his favorite things about his job in the Ray Laman Christmas Party, or Christmas Fund as it’s known now. His father founded it back in 1978. It’s a big party around Christmastime for kids in the area that Santa comes to hand out gifts.
Chief Laman and his wife will remain in Wintersville, but travel a lot to Columbus to see their three kids and grandson often.