New Newton Falls police Chief Eugene H. Fixler said he would listen to the force and the community, then implement changes accordingly.
He doesn't have to hear from anybody before working on perhaps the Police Department's biggest challenge - repairing its image.
Several years ago Newton Township could no longer afford to maintain a police force. Trustees accepted a proposal from the Trumbull County Sheriff's Office to provide law enforcement services at a cost less than maintaining their own force.
Newton Falls said they offered a better price to provide the township with law enforcement. Considering Newton Falls police are already in the vicinity, it seems like a natural fit.
But whenever the subject of Newton Falls police providing service in the township comes up at public meetings, the idea is usually met with snickers, just like it did when trustees opted to contract with the sheriff's office. The thought of the Falls police department, rife with controversy and dissension for decades, servicing the township is nothing more than a source of amusement in Newton, regardless of the price.
So there if Fixler's No. 1 task.
Newton Falls Mayor Lyle Waddell said he asked Village Council to schedule a joint session with Newton trustees after the first of the year to ''bury the hatchet'' and consider more shared services. Waddell's idea merits support, and Fixler has until then to at least show signs of cleaning his department's image.
We wish both of them success.