Hagerstown Police Department has its first full-time female officer.

Taylor Fleming began her work April 1 as one of five HPD officers, Police Chief Keith Folkner said. He told the Town Council on April 3 that she replaced Adam Blanton, who left for “a job he couldn’t turn down” in the private sector.

Fleming had been a Hagerstown reserve police officer since late December, Folkner said. She had been a corporal in the Wayne County Jail, where she started in 2020. She was the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department 2022 correctional officer of the year. Prior to that she had worked three years at the Madison County Jail in Anderson.

Fleming holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Nazarene College.

Blanton had come to work for HPD in January after serving many years with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department. He is continuing as an HPD reserve officer, helping with the police reporting system, case management and grant writing.

Besides Folkner’s regular report, the council heard an update on a town wide clean-up planned for the last week in April. Town crews will pick up yard waste during the week. It should be placed near the curb, Town Manager Chris LaMar said.

On Saturday, April 29, Heart of Hagerstown business group and Wayne-Union-Recycle Solid Waste Management District will collect electronic waste for recycling from 9 a.m. to noon at Precision Wire Assemblies, 551 E. Main St. Dumpsters to receive yard waste will be set up at the town water works on Washington Street south of the Norfolk Southern railroad.

Fire Chief Rick Cole said he will be seeking a grant to begin work on expanding the fire station or building a new one. The current station is about 60 years old. He told council that an average small town fire station costs about $1 million.

Cole also asked for a meeting with Folkner and LaMar to review response plans for potential disasters such as the Feb. 3 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. The town’s plan is several years old and probably needs to be updated, he said.

LaMar told the council that he is evaluating whether putting town electric lines underground would be more cost effective than cutting trees and brush from around aerial wires. He also said town crews are working as fast as they can to patch springtime potholes.

The council’s next regular meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 1, in Town Hall, 49 E. College St. The public may attend.

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A version of this article appeared in the April 12 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.