Menster appointed interim police chief
A permanent chief should be in place by Jan. 18.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR PENNSYLVANIA BUREAU
SHARON, Pa. -- Mike Menster will serve as Sharon's interim police chief as the city searches for a new chief.
Mayor Bob Lucas appointed Menster to the post Wednesday after receiving formal notice earlier in the week that Chief Tom Burke would retire.
Burke, a 14-year police department veteran, is taking a job at Duferco Farrell Corp., the former Sharon Steel, as director of safety and security. Burke is on vacation until his formal retirement in February. He will begin his new job Jan. 16.
Menster, who is captain of operations, has experience running the department, Lucas said. The mayor noted that Menster has been in charge of the police force at various times when Burke was away at training. The mayor said Menster will be considered for the permanent post, which he hopes to have filled before Jan. 18.
Menster, 42, has been on the police force for 17 years and has been captain of operations since 2001.
Burke said the decision to leave the police force was difficult, but the opportunity at Duferco was too good to pass up. He will be in charge of enforcing its Occupational Safety regulations as well as provide security for the company.
Burke said he starting interviewing for the job in June long before the recent budget cuts in the city police department were known. He said those cuts had no bearing on his decision to leave the department.
The city police department is undergoing several changes in 2007, including the reduction in the number of full-time police clerks to two and two part-time clerks. There had been four full-time clerks and one part-timer. To save money, the city is using the Southwest Regional Police lockup to hold prisoners instead of the city lockup.
The force is also undergoing a new management system that included several cuts and changes in rank for officers under the new budget.