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After 21 years, Carnegie has new police chief

| Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item
Outgoing Carnegie police Chief Jeff Harbin (right) hugs incoming Chief Jeffrey Kennedy after Kennedy was sworn in during the borough council meeting Monday night.
Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item
Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek swears in Jeffrey Kennedy (left) as Carnegie police Chief while Pennsbury Village Mayor Lucy Harper and former Carnegie police Chief Jeff Harbin bear witness.
Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item
New Carnegie police Chief Jeff Kennedy (right) pins a badge on retiring police Chief Jeff Harbin after Kennedy was sworn in Monday night.

In a vote that came as no surprise, Carnegie Borough Council officially appointed police Sgt. Jeffrey Kennedy to Chief of Police Monday, replacing the retiring chief Jeff Harbin.

Kennedy's tenure will take effect Aug. 9, when Harbin's retirement begins after he takes vacation time. Until then, Kennedy will serve the position in an interim capacity.

Harbin was recognized for his nearly four decades of service by various county and state representatives, including Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and County Councilman Mike Finnerty.

“Chief Harbin's leadership has brought all of Carnegie up a couple of notches,” Finnerty said.

Representatives for state Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-42) and state Rep. Nick Kotik (D-42) also presented Harbin with certificates of appreciation, and Carnegie offered a resolution in his honor.

Harbin had been chief since 1992.

Kennedy was sworn in as chief by Mayor Jack Kobistek, and Harbin presented him with his chief's badge. Kennedy, in turn, presented Harbin with his retired chief's badge.

Members of council offered often-emotional goodbyes and praises to the outgoing chief.

“I want to thank you for your 37 years of service,” councilman Pat Catena said. “You've done a helluva job.”

“Some of us have only known one chief,” said Kobistek, who has lived in the borough for 20 years and served nearly four as mayor. “If it wasn't for his assistance, I never would have made it.”

Kobistek said he is looking forward to working with Kennedy is this new era.

“I know you will put your own spin on the police department,” he said, “and that's what we want you to do. This is an exciting time for everyone.”

Council President Rick D'Loss called the transition the beginning of a “new era.”

“We look to the past and we look to the future,” he said. “Today, we congratulate Chief Harbin on his retirement and welcome Chief Kennedy.”

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com

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