Friday, February 24, 2017
By Jordyn Grzelewski
Jack Nichols started his career with the township police department Jan. 3, 1978, as a patrol officer.
On Jan. 3, 2018, he will retire as police chief, having spent his entire 40-year career with the department.
The township board of trustees announced Nichols’ retirement at a meeting Thursday. Trustees and other township officials spoke glowingly of him and his career.
“I can’t even express what a pleasure it has been working with you,” Trustee Tom Costello told him. “He’s given us this much notice because that’s how big his shoes are to fill.”
Nichols leaves the role to focus on another that is close to his heart: grandfather. Asked how he feels about his retirement, he proudly held up a picture on his phone of his daughter’s triplets. He has four grandchildren.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said of retirement.
Reflecting on his career, he said, “It’s been great. Not many people can say they worked in the same place for 40 years. I raised my kids thanks to this place.”
He noted that the kindest act he’s ever received from someone came from a member of the police department. When his first wife died, he said, someone who worked in the detective bureau offered to switch positions with him. At the time, he was a shift supervisor and had to be out on the road. Switching positions would allow him to work day turn, and thus be able to care for the small children he had at home.
“He came to me and offered, which was a big deal. He really inconvenienced himself,” Nichols said.
As for what he’ll miss about the job, that’s easy: “The people. Absolutely. That’s the hardest part of the job, and it’s the thing I’ll miss the most,” he said.
“It’s been a hoot,” he said, smiling.
Over the course of his career, Nichols moved through the ranks, working as a patrol officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and then chief.
Township officials noted his role in establishing a new countywide radio dispatching system.
In a news release, the township also detailed other highlights from Nichols’ career, including creating a Care Call system for senior citizens and people with disabilities; working with the state attorney general’s office to get a prescription drug drop-off box installed at the police station; increasing the number of school resources officers in Boardman schools; and overseeing the addition of 15 police officers to the department after passage of a policy levy.
In other business, the board authorized the purchase of a Vactor truck for the township road department at a cost of $354,479.40. That equipment is used to remove debris from storm sewers.
The board also approved a four-year mutual-aid agreement that allows township officers to provide police services throughout Mahoning and Trumbull counties, as well as allowing officers from other jurisdictions in the two counties to render services in the township.