Jay’s first police chief remembered


JAY – Jay’s first police chief was remembered Tuesday as being quiet, reserved and very dedicated to public service. Paul Galusha never carried a gun, and admitted in 2002 that he never had to handcuff a guy in his life, and he never lost a customer.

“Back then it was a person’s word that kept them in the cruiser until I could take him to jail,” Galusha said four years ago. “Back then kids had respect for police.”

Galusha, 86, of Jay, died Sunday at Victorian Villa in Canton.

Jay Police Chief Larry White Sr. and Franklin County Sheriff Dennis Pike recognized Galusha in 2002 for his service to the town and county. Galusha not only served as a police chief and civil defense director in Jay, he was also a Franklin County deputy starting under Sheriff Glendon C. Rowe.

“I found him to be a very honorable man who served his community with dignity and pride and he’ll be missed,” White said Tuesday.

Jay Selectman Emile Fournier came to Galusha in 1950 or so and said, “We need you,” and he stepped forward to become the town’s first police chief, Galusha said in 2002.

When he answered Fournier’s call to help the town with problems requiring policing, he set up quarters in the front room of his home on Route 133 in Stone’s Corner near the intersection of Hyde and East Jay Road. It was from there that Galusha balanced operating his garage and helping people.

Those emergency calls rang into his home and he would head out, no matter the hour, in his own vehicle.

That is until the chief struck a deal in 1957 for $125 to get a cruiser through government surplus.

After the vehicle was brought back to town, it was painted blue and a big blue light was installed on it. Galusha’s scrapbook had contained a 1957 photo of several men, including Galusha, in front of the car with a Jay Police and Civil Defense emblem painted on the door. A large, silver siren, sat atop the roof.

Jay had the first municipally-owned police cruiser in the county, Pike said Tuesday, as well as a radio.

Galusha made the very first law enforcement shoulder patches in the history of Franklin County to his knowledge, Pike said. He embroidered his own police patches for his officers and himself, and for fellow sheriff’s deputies, Pike added.

Galusha said four years ago that he made the patches when they first became popular because he didn’t want his department to be behind. He served as chief until 1964.

He was certainly instrumental in the county obtaining its first ever radios, Pike said Tuesday. “Mr. Galusha did the installing,” he said. They had a bay station and six mobile sets with one set taking up half the trunk in 1956.

“He was very quiet, very reserved and very dedicated to public service,” Pike said.