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Edison High School resource officer returns to his old stomping grounds

ON PATROL AGAIN — Deputy Joe Fetty is now walking the halls as the new school resource officer at Edison High School. He graduated from Edison High School in 1990 and retired from the Ohio State Highway Patrol after more than 28 years. (Contributed photo)

RICHMOND — Deputy Joe Fetty may be walking the halls as the new school resource officer at Edison High School, but he is also returning to his old stomping grounds as an alumnus.

Fetty, who graduated from Edison in 1990, began his duties after retiring from the Ohio State Highway Patrol in July. He spent more than 28 years as a state trooper and most recently served as commander of the patrol’s Steubenville post, but now he is excited to begin a new phase by serving the school community.

“I have been in law enforcement and public service for a long time, and toward the end of my career I was looking for something new and wanted to begin a new chapter,” he said. “The opportunity came up at my home school.”

He heard of the open post and contacted Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla to make an inquiry.

“I told the sheriff I wanted to throw my hat into the ring. It’s still in a law enforcement capacity and I get to interact with kids at school,” Fetty said. “I am very happy to be back at my home school.”

In a way, he has come full circle in his career. He first became interested in law enforcement after listening to Sheriff Abdalla speak in his high school law class, and although he initially studied biology in college he changed direction and applied to become a cadet/dispatcher with OSHP at age 19.

From there, he joined the academy and became a trooper, but he enjoys the aspect of continuing his service by working with youth.

Fetty said there was a need for students to interact with law enforcement in an effort to build relationships and know that officials are there to help. Since he began his new post, he has conducted a volunteer vehicle check with his peers at OSHP. Several troopers were on hand in October to inspect students’ vehicles and ensure they were safe for young drivers while he gave a PowerPoint presentation about being prepared for winter. The project was formed after he noticed several cars bearing one headlight or bald tires and wanted youth to understand the importance of car safety.

“I wanted to get them to think ahead and think outside the box so they can be prepared,” he added. “I want to do that again next year.”

Deputy Fetty has other ideas going forward but hopes the current coronavirus pandemic will subside so plans may be implemented. One project would bring a driving simulator into the school so students learn the dangers of distracted driving, plus he would like to present a program for the junior high about making good choices.

“I want to be proactive and be a great role model for them before they make choices,” he noted.

He originally hails from the district but makes his home in Tuscarawas with his wife, Rachel, a former trooper and current adult probation officer. There they raised four children, all of whom are in some form of public service from law enforcement and the U.S. Army to the medical field. He is also a proud grandfather of two with a third little one on the way this summer.

Deputy Fetty said he is proud to return to Edison and appreciates the warm reception he has received from staff and students.

“I’ve been very happy. Everybody’s been very welcoming and receptive,” he concluded. “This will always be my home.”

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