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Heidelberg hires new part-time patrolman

| Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Heidelberg Mayor Ken LaSota swears in new part-time patrolman Antonino Balsamo during borough council’s workshop meeting Feb. 12 at the Heidelberg Community Center. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Heidelberg Police Department has a new part-time patrolman.

Borough council hired Antonino Balsamo at its Feb. 12 meeting. Balsamo will replace part-time officers Scott Kercher and Rachael Anderson, who left the department for other employment opportunities.

As a part-time patrolman, Balsamo will work two or three eight-hour shifts a week, Mayor Ken LaSota said.

Manager Joe Kauer said Balsamo ranked No. 1 on the Heidelberg Civil Service hiring eligibility list after taking a physical agility test and written and oral exams in the fall.

Heidelberg employs four full-time officers and five part-time officers, and Balsamo has the opportunity to move into a full-time job with the borough because of his No. 1 spot on the hiring eligibility list.

“When there's a (full-time) vacancy, with him being part-time, he can just slide into place,” Kauer said.

Balsamo, who lives in Scott, currently serves as a part-time officer in Oakdale. which LaSota said made him an attractive candidate.

“When a resident has a question, (we like our officers) to roll down the windows of the patrol car, stop and say hello,” LaSota said. “We like our police officers to go door-to-door, checking on the businesses. He has to have that community-oriented policing background, (and) that's one of the things that makes him stand out.”

Balsamo began field training in Heidelberg last week and was expected to begin solo patrols this week, LaSota said.

Heidelberg is also seeking applicants for the position of vacancy board chairman. The appointed position shares the responsibility in filling vacancies on borough council.

The chairman appoints a new council member if borough council can't find a suitable replacement within 30 days of a prior member's resignation, removal or death.

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-8527 or dgulasy@tribweb.com.

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