POLICE Bigowsky takes over as chief
The 31-year veteran of the department will be sworn in as chief July 1.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
GIRARD -- A promotion more than a quarter of a century in the making has finally happened.
On Wednesday, 26 years after his promotion to captain, Frank Bigowsky began his day as police chief.
"When you start out in your career, you set goals for yourself and this is a goal I set," said Bigowsky, a 31-year veteran. "I can tell you this, I won't be here as long as the former chief."
Bigowsky is replacing former Police Chief Anthony "Buster" Ross, 80, who finished his 50-year run with the department Feb. 25. Ross spent 32 years as chief.
Bigowsky will be sworn is as chief July 1.
"I wanted to wait for my daughter, Ariana, to get here from Florida," Bigowsky said. "When I became captain, it was four days before she was born, so this time I want her to be here and be able to remember it."
Bigowsky's son, Frank, 28, is a police officer in Youngstown.
Since Ross left the department Capt. John Villecco has been acting chief. There have been no major changes in the police department since Ross retired.
"I have some ideas for the department but I want to sit down with the other two captains, find out their ideas and then discuss everything with the administration," Bigowsky said.
He noted that he has a lot of confidence in his fellow officers and feels very comfortable in Girard.
"This is my home and I feel very strongly in community policing," Bigowsky said. "I am wearing my uniform because I plan to be out working. People will see me out. It's my choice and I want to be out in the community."
Pushing the levy
The new chief noted that his top priority will be working to get the police levy passed in November.
City council is placing a one-quarter percent income tax on the November general election ballot. If that levy passes, it will raise about $400,000 a year for the department.
Bigowsky, who has been captain since 1979, will earn $50,500 as chief. He has bachelor's degrees in law enforcement administration and in secondary education, both from Youngstown State University.
Bigowsky also graduated from the Law Enforcement Foundation's Police Executive Leadership College in 2001. The college is a three-week leadership program for law enforcement executives.