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Scott Township police department looks for new sergeant

| Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 9:31 p.m.

Scott Township police Chief Jim Secreet will look to promote a patrolman to sergeant in the next couple of months. He had the fleeting idea to fill the department's long-vacant lieutenant position, too.

There weren't any takers on the latter.

“At a public safety meeting, I addressed it, saying I wanted to test for a sergeant and a lieutenant,” Secreet said.

“Scuttlebutt got around that I was going to promote for both positions, and only sergeants can test for lieutenant, so a couple talked to me and said they're not interested.”

For a mix of reasons, the lieutenant role — essentially, No. 2 in the department — has remained empty since Secreet was promoted from it to deputy chief in 2007. The position is largely administrative, and Secreet recognizes his younger sergeants aren't ones to enjoy being cooped up in an office.

There's another big caveat that comes with the higher rank.

“If you work overtime, you get paid overtime. But you don't get called out for shift duty,” Secreet said. “If it means you're going to leave the patrol ranks and not be available for the patrol overtime. For a young guy, that money would add up, and you would lose money taking the position.”

Operations without a lieutenant are scarcely different than if someone in the department did bear the rank, though. Secreet splits the job's duties, such as payroll and training, between his four current sergeants, and he'll look to add another via promotion by the end of the year.

One day, however, maybe when he's nearing retirement, Secreet expects to see that No. 2 spot filled.

“It was a good spot for me, because it was a good stop on the ladder and probably helped me get the chief job,” the 50-year-old Secreet said. “Right now, I plan on being here up to eight years, so nobody's going to jump in that position right now. Maybe five years from now, somebody might say, ‘He's going to be leaving,' and maybe somebody would take it then.”

Rosslyn and Ryan

Since taking over patrol duties in Rosslyn Farms on Aug. 1, things have been as Secreet expected: quiet.

“The call volume is not there, but we still have a presence up there,” he said. “So far, so good.”

Than again, there was that day the Secret Service and Paul Ryan came swooping in.

On Aug. 21, just days after Ryan was nudged as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate, the Wisconsin Congressman spoke at Beaver Steel Services in Rosslyn Farms Industrial Park — right in Scott's new territory.

“The retired Rosslyn chief (Larry Fischio) was going, ‘We never had anything like this in 30 years,'” Secreet said. “There were a lot of things to do to help them out. It's funny because we had just taken over.”

Dan Stefano is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at dstefano@tribweb.com or 412-388-5816.

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