New police chief in Clintonville
Beggs assumes duties in April
By Bert Lehman
The Clintonville Police and Fire Commission has appointed James Beggs as Clintonville police chief once current Police Chief Terry Lorge retires April 8.
Beggs has worked for the Clintonville Police Department for 40 years, the past 20 as captain.
When asked if it was his goal to eventually be named chief, Beggs responded, “That’s a tough question to answer because I never had it in the forefront of my mind. Definitely when Terry started talking about retirement I definitely took a strong interest in it at that time. Up until that point I really had not set a goal of that. But I’m definitely very pleased to be appointed to that position.”
At the March 8 Clintonville City Council meeting, the council voted unanimously to support Beggs’ appointment.
Clintonville City Administrator Chuck Kell told the council prior to the vote that the council has no legal authority over the appointment. That is the responsibility of the Clintonville Police & Fire Commission.
“As the administrator of the city I feel strongly that the new chief coming in needs the support of this council,” Kell said. “I would like this council to show a vote of support of his appointment. … It may not be unanimous but I think he needs to know that he’s got support of this council going forward as chief.”
Beggs said he was appreciative of the vote of support.
“I feel it’s very important to have the cooperation of city government to be effective in any position in the city,” Beggs said. “And I feel gratified to know that these individuals are behind me, that they’ll work with me, that we can work shoulder to shoulder to make this place better.”
Regarding the transition to his new role, Beggs said that started 20 years ago.
“When Terry was promoted to chief and I was promoted to captain, the nine months prior to that we worked as co-acting chiefs for the department,” Beggs said. “I threw my endorsement behind Terry to have him become chief. Terry promoted me to the position of captain and we have worked together as a team for the past 20 years. We have been involved in each other’s work for so long that it’s not going to be a real tough transition for me to make.”
Beggs added that he is happy Lorge is able to retire with good health and at a time in his life when he has time to enjoy time with his family. He is also grateful Lorge has left the Police Department in very good condition.
“I thank him for working side by side with me for the last 20 years in the top two positions of the department,” Beggs said.
He added, “It is exciting for me to finish my long career here as chief of police. It will be icing on the cake.”