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Benick joins Greensburg police force

| Thursday, June 20, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review
Greensburg police officer, Matthew Benick, photographed on Friday, June 14, 2013.

Matthew Benick said he likes the excitement being a police officer can bring.

Benick, 31, joined the Greensburg force this month.

“It's a challenging job,” he said. “You never know what's around the corner. The work's exciting and I like helping people. It's a rewarding career.”

He previously worked as an officer for about two years in Wilkinsburg. He earlier got experience working as a part-time officer in East McKeesport, where he grew up, East Pittsburgh and Pitcairn.

Benick received an associate degree in criminal justice from the International Academy of Design and Technology in Pittsburgh in 2006 and graduated from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania police academy in 2007.

He worked for a summer as an police officer on the sands of Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. “It was from then on I knew 100 percent that (police work) was what I wanted to do,” he said.

He especially likes interacting with people, he explained.

Benick lives with his family in Irwin and was looking for a police job closer to his Westmoreland County home when the Greensburg position opened up.

Benick ranked No. 1 in the city's civil service testing, police Chief Walter “Wally” Lyons said.

There are 26 officers on the force, with one position to be filled at a later date.

Greensburg offers a different type of police work than he experienced in Wilkinsburg, which had more violent crimes, Benick said.

Greensburg residents seem to appreciate their officers, he added.

Benick anticipates working varying shifts once he gets into the regular routine in Greensburg.

In Wilkinsburg, he worked the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift.

“I think it will be refreshing,” Benick said of working a different shift. “After working night-turn for a few years, I think it will be nice to go to 3-11 and be out on the streets when it's still light out.”

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or