GIRARD POLICE Full-time detective post gets the ax by new chief

The decision is one of the first changes the new chief has made.
GIRARD -- There is no longer a full-time detective at the Girard Police Department, but the new police chief says that doesn't mean cases won't be solved.
Police Chief Frank Bigowsky says for now police officers will be asked to do follow-up work on their cases.
"I like to think that we now have increased our detective bureau by 11," the chief said. He noted that Police Officer John Norman, who was the city's detective, will now be working on the road.
"This was something I thought I would try so that we could get more officers on the road," Bigowsky said. "There is no guarantee this will work but I thought it might be something we could try."
With vacations, the chief said he was concerned he would not have enough officers on patrol. He added that with the new schedule he should have at least two officers on patrol each shift.
Pending funds
The chief noted he may decide to bring back the detective bureau if a one-quarter percent income tax is approved in November.
City council is placing the income tax on the November general election ballot. If that tax is approved, it will raise about $400,000 a year for the department.
The decision to no longer have a full-time detective is one of the first changes Bigowsky has made since becoming chief last month.
"We support his decision," said Jerry Lambert, the city's safety-service director.
Mayor Jim Melfi is out of town and could not be reached.
Bigowsky said other changes will come after he has had time to discuss ideas with his staff and the city administration.
Bigowsky replaces Anthony "Buster" Ross, 80, who finished his 50-year run with the department Feb. 25. Ross spent 32 years as chief.

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