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Former Ligonier Township officer joins city police

| Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Bob Shapiro, new Greensburg police officer.

Bob Shapiro said he is attracted to the variety that comes in the course of working as a police officer.

“It's different every day,” he said. “I've never pictured myself as someone sitting in a cubicle for 40 hours a week. You get out on the road and do something different every day” on the force.

Shapiro, 40, a police officer for about 12 years, has now joined the Greensburg Police Department.

Shapiro has worked the last three years as a full-time officer in Ligonier Township. He has worked part time in Derry Borough and Edgewood.

Shapiro said he liked working for the township police department, but the Greensburg force offered more personal opportunity.

“It's a large, well-established department,” Shapiro said of Greensburg. “There's a lot of opportunity with a large department like this that you're not going to get with a smaller department.”

After graduating from Shaler High School in 1991, Shapiro became involved in field artillery in the Army, eventually serving time on a base about an hour south of Frankfurt, Germany.

“It was my very first time out of the country,” Shapiro said. “It was kind of a culture shock.

“It took a while to get used to, but it was very educational,” he added. “I learned to ski in the Swiss Alps.”

Later, in the Army Reserves, he served in the military police, an experience that pointed him in the direction of a career as a police officer.

He received an associate degree in criminal justice from the Community College of Allegheny County in 1996. In 2000, he attended the Municipal Police Officers' Training Academy at Westmoreland County Community College.

He worked part time as a Greensburg police dispatcher from 2000 to 2001.

For the next 12 weeks, he will be paired up with different city officers to learn about Greensburg police procedures and to become familiar with the area.

He is already familiar with the police work and knows that domestic arguments can present challenges for officers.

Normally, he said, he will separate the people arguing.

“You kind of have to play social worker so each one gets to vent their frustrations to you,” Shapiro added.

He married his wife, Elizabeth, in August. He is the father of two children.

He said he is looking forward to being a Greensburg officer.

“I like interacting with people,” Shapiro said. “It's kind of nice building the rapport with everybody.”

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