WEST ALEXANDRIA — A special meeting was held by West Alexandria’s police department and the village council on Monday, May 16, to acknowledge the retirement of former Chief of Police, Tony Gasper.
According to a statement given by Mayor Jeff Hickey, Gasper first pledged service to his country in 1977 when he joined the United States Navy, where he served two years inactive service, and four years active, in which time Gasper was involved in a rescue operation during the Iranian Crisis, in 1979.
Gasper began his law enforcement career in 1996 when he graduated from police academy and joined the Preble County Sheriff’s Office, where he worked until 2000. Gasper worked as a part time officer for the Lincoln Heights Police Department in 1998, and also worked as a full-time officer for the Camden police department in 2000.
In 2004 Gasper was hired as a patrol officer in West Alexandria, shortly after he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2007, and then to the rank of Assistant Chief in 2008, where he served for eight years until being hired as Chief of Police in 2016.
While commending Gasper for his 27 years in law enforcement, Mayor Hickey stated, “On June 15, 2015, at the time Assistant Chief Gasper, while on patrol noticed a house on fire. Without regard to his own safety, he selflessly went inside and safely removed the residents and their children from the home. Chief Gasper has 27 years in law enforcement, 21 of those years being full-time. So, I will just say, job well done, retirement well earned, congratulations from the bottom of our hearts.”
“It’s going to be short and sweet,” Gasper began in his statement thanking those gathered, “I want to thank the mayor and the council, for their support and what they do for the village … but most of all, I want to thank the village residents. It’s you guys that made my job so great. One of the biggest things for me is just driving around, and everybody waves, waves and smiles. I never got the smile quite down pat, but I always wave really big!”
The former chief’s officers and West Alexandria EMS presented Gasper with several gifts, including a wooden plaque with the names of those in attendance inscribed. According to the mayor, Gasper received numerous officer of the year awards, as well as a medal of valor during his service in West Alexandria.