Retired police officers are expected to apply for the new post.
BY MARY GRZEBIENIAK
NEW CASTLE -- Two of three Union Township supervisors agreed at a special meeting Monday to create the post of township police superintendent.
The move follows an unsuccessful attempt last year to demote township Police Chief Joe Lombardo to patrolman.
Supervisors Ralph Nuzzo and Kevin Guinaugh voted to advertise the position. The third supervisor, Steve Galizia, did not attend the meeting.
The move drew criticism from about half the approximately 15 people at Monday's meeting. Lombardo, who also attended, said that though his department is busy, he doesn't need "a watchdog."
Nuzzo said the addition of a superintendent will bring the township department to full-time status, something that both Lombardo and many residents have been demanding for months. He added that Lombardo has been complaining he has too much administrative work and not enough time for road patrol. Residents have complained that traffic on U.S. Route 224 is not being adequately controlled. Nuzzo said that neither Lombardo's salary of about $35,000, including benefits, nor his post as chief will be affected by the new position.
However, instead of answering directly to supervisors, Lombardo will now report to the superintendent, who will in turn answer to supervisors.
The superintendent's job will pay $28,000 to $32,000, but will not include any benefits, a factor that Nuzzo expects to attract a retired police officer.
The superintendent's duties would include: developing and posting employee schedules, selecting equipment and services, receiving and evaluating initial complaints against officers and taking appropriate action, receiving all reports, representing the department and township when needed, being part of the committee to hire department employees, administering public safety and community relations programs and generally improving the department. He would also patrol in a cruiser when necessary.
The police department includes Lombardo and newly hired officer Mike McBride on full-time status, and three part-time officers. Nuzzo and Guinaugh had tried to demote Lombardo to patrolman last year but found they could not legally do it.
Applications for the new post are due by 3 p.m. next Wednesday. The next regular meeting is 6 p.m. Feb. 21. Nuzzo said he does not expect to be ready to hire by that meeting.