Springdale makes its choice for police chief
Springdale Council on Wednesday agreed to offer the job of police chief to a man currently leading a small department in South Dakota.
Julio F. Medeiros III, 47, has been the chief of the Martin police force in south central South Dakota since 2011. If employment negotiations are successful, Medeiros should join Springdale's department this summer.
Council offered Medeiros the job pending his completion of a background check, physical and psychological testing and acquisition of his certifications in Pennsylvania.
Council did not establish a salary; it plans to negotiate the terms of a contract with Medeiros.
Councilman Mike Ziencik led the search to replace current Chief Joe Naviglia, who is scheduled to retire at the end of the month after 25 years with the borough.
Ziencik said with the assistance of a consultant, the borough received 53 applications for the position and interviewed five finalists last week.
Ziencik and council President David Finley said there were several qualified candidates, but Medeiros stood out.
“He was off the charts,” Finley said. “He was very qualified.”
Medeiros, who has bachelor's and master's degrees in administration of justice, spent 23 years with the police department of Smithfield, R.I. The Providence suburb of 25,000 had a department with 53 full-time officers plus part-time officers and auxiliary employees, Medeiros said.
He said he was part of a wave of officers statewide who retired amid problems with the state's pension plan. He retired as a shift commander at 43 in 2010 and briefly took a job leading a small department in Nebraska before moving to Martin, S.D.
He called South Dakota a second home after spending time there hunting.
Medeiros said Martin's city administration changed in a recent election and he decided to consider jobs elsewhere. An avid hunter who has spent time in Pennsylvania and has family in the northwest part of the state, Medeiros said the Springdale job appealed to him.
He said his first priority on the job will be to get a feel for the community.
“I want to get to know my employees, I want to get to know my elected officials, and I want to get to know the community and the business owners we're going to serve,” he said.
Ziencik said one of factors that impressed him about Medeiros was that he walked around Springdale during his two visits during the interview process.
“I really think the community will like him,” Ziencik said. “He's very well-rounded.”
Medeiros said his Martin Police Department is of similar size to Springdale's: Martin has five full-time officers and three part-timers, compared to Springdale's four full-time officers (including the chief) and four to eight part-timers. Martin's population is about 2,000 people compared to Springdale's 3,400 people.
However, Medeiros said Martin is much more rural than Springdale.
“Law enforcement out here is so sparse,” he said. “The nearest police department to me is almost 100 miles away.”
Although Smithfield is much larger than Springdale, Medeiros said it had similarities to the borough in terms of being a suburban environment.
Medeiros said he hopes to move to Springdale by July with his fiancée, Kathy, and stepson, Dean.
Council approved Medeiros' hiring in a 5-1-1 vote with Councilman Gene Polsinelli objecting and Frank Forbes abstaining.
Polsinelli said he would have preferred to go with a local candidate.
“I thought we should have somebody from the area that knows the people and the town,” said Polsinelli, a former borough officer. “(Medeiros) is qualified, for sure. But I thought we had qualified people who were local, too.”
Forbes said he wanted more written information on the candidates from the search committee before making a decision. He also thought the candidates should have been required to get a background check before they chose someone.
“I felt there were questions left unanswered,” he said. “All the candidates had impressive resumes. I'm not saying he's not qualified. He's a great guy to talk to in person. I would have liked to have had a better handle on who they were before we made a decision.”
Coincidentally, Medeiros interacted with Pennsylvania law enforcement last month when his South Dakota department happened to intercept a missing 13-year-old girl from Clarion and assisted in arresting the man accused of kidnapping her.
“It's a small world,” he said.
Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Keystone Markers give insights about towns but have fallen victim to time, theft or traffic accidents
- ‘Wax weed’ worries authorities
- Pyrotechnics display turns from benefit to burden in Tarentum
- United Way Impact Fund Grants to award $445K to 26 Butler County nonprofits
- Man who threatened to jump from Tarentum Bridge in custody
- Plum landslide to be fixed after year
- State store relocates to Highlands Mall
- Soggy conditions don’t deter people from Springdale jubilee
- Police identify Harmar man as victim in Washington Township crash
- Freeport VFW initiates its ‘monumental project’
- Saxonburg residents surprised by zoning proposal