Mayor discusses restoring police position

SHARON, Pa. -- The post of police captain of detectives, cut out of the 2002 budget when the spending plan was finalized by city council in December, may be coming back.
Mayor David O. Ryan told council Thursday that the position can be restored for just $2,179 for this year.
Council cut the post in a cost-saving move that also reduced the number of police detectives from four to three. All have the rank of sergeant.
How it was handled: They did it without any layoff or reductions in rank because the previous captain of detectives, Thomas Burke, was named police chief to fill the post vacated by the retirement of Raymond Greene.
Ryan said the department will still have only three detectives but one of them will have the captain's rank and be responsible for coordinating all investigations.
The $2,179 is the difference in pay between a sergeant and a captain, said Michael Gasparich, city finance director.
Michael Menster, captain of operations, said the detective bureau handles 500 cases a year and that requires a lot of supervision and preparation for court. The bureau needs a ranking officer for that task, he said.
Council President Fred Hoffman said the cost to the city will actually be less than $2,179.
The Mercer County District Attorney's Office has offered the city $2,000 in drug forfeiture money to help offset that cost, he said.
The change will require amendments to the city's budget and employee complement ordinances, Hoffman said.

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