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Leetsdale to add full-time officer

| Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, 11:00 p.m.

Leetsdale Council will seek to add a full-time officer to the borough's police department.

Council members last week passed a motion to advertise for a full-time officer.

Before they could do that, council members filled two vacancies on the borough's three-person Civil Service Commission that will help hire the new officer.

Barbara Aughinbaugh and Thomas James, the two newly appointed members of the Civil Service Commission, still need to go through training before they can participate in the hiring process.

They will replace Osman Awad, who recently was elected to borough council, and Jerry Freeble, whose term expired.

If all goes as planned, the new officer will start work by summer.

“Adding an extra full-time officer will not only help with scheduling, it will actually give another dedicated officer to the community,” said Leetsdale police Chief Daniel Rable.

In the interim, the police department will put out an initial application for residents to come pick up at the office. After this application is turned in, the department will set up a test date with each applicant for a physical and written examination.

“If they complete that with a passing grade, they'll be asked to come back and have an oral examination. Once they pass the oral examination, the scores actually get blended, and then we come up with a certified list. That's when the Civil Service Commission will get together and produce a list of their top three candidates for the position,” Raible said.

The commission will then show this list to borough officials and advise the council on which officer to hire.

During November's meeting, Raible explained his reasoning for adding to his current force of four full-time and five part-time officers.

“Unfortunately, with part-time officers, you get more of a turnover rate than you do with a full-timer,” Raible said.

“The part-timers we have, although they're very good, won't be with me for long. They're going to end up getting jobs somewhere else.”

The four current full-time officers each cover a different shift each month — daylight, 3-11 p.m., midnight and a rotating shift.

In addition to covering one of these shifts, the additional officer will help the department fill coverage gaps when other officers are on vacation or attending training courses.

According to borough secretary Jennifer Simek, the new full-time officer will start out earning a wage equal to 66 percent of the top patrolman, who currently earns $33.47 per hour.

That figure will gradually increase every six months.

Upon completion of 24 months of employment, the officer attains the rank of top patrolman and can start earning the full wages associated with that rank.

Sam Bojarski is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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