FARRELL Police chief gets rousing welcome

The new chief used the occasion to introduce his officers to the community.
FARRELL, Pa. -- It's not often a police chief has the unanimous support of all 100 people gathered in a single room, but Riley Smoot had it Monday.
The new chief of Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Department got cheers and a standing ovation as he took his oath of office in Farrell council chambers.
Smoot, a 23-year-police veteran and only the second chief in this department formed in 1992, officially began his duties Jan. 1 but wanted to hold an open house to present the department's 21 officers, many of whom have been on the force only a short time.
City council, at the urging of the Rev. Martha Sanders, a former council member, decided to expand the open house by having Smoot take his oath of office.
Because Southwest covers Farrell, Wheatland and West Middlesex, the mayors of all three municipalities participated in the public ceremony.
"We are totally confident that Chief Smoot will more than adequately fill the bill," said Farrell Mayor William Morocco.
Mayors Thomas Stanton of Wheatland and David George of West Middlesex echoed that sentiment.
Smoot introduced 16 officers and two clerks, saying it's important the officers meet the public and the public meets them, "because we've got to work together."
The officers got a standing ovation too.
"If there's anything we can do, call on us, because we're going to call on you," Smoot told the crowd.

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