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Jeannette native keeps important eye on criminal justice

| Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:07 p.m.
Judge Joe DeMarchis has been a lifelong resident of Jeannette and has been invovled in criminal justic here for many years. Kristie Linden | The Jeannette Spirit

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency reports ongoing crime statistics in regard to criminal homicide, sex related offenses, robbery, assaults, property offenses, arson, drug violations and alcohol crimes.

In Westmoreland County, it was reported that 11,411 such offenses occurred in 2012, with just 214 of those offenses occurring in the City of Jeannette, as compared to the City of Greensburg which logged 670 charges last year.

To Jeannette resident District Judge Joe DeMarchis, these are very important statistics, as he has spent his entire professional career working in the field of criminal justice.

DeMarchis was born and raised in the City of Jeannette. After his graduation from Jeannette High School, DeMarchis enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.

During his four years in the Air Force, DeMarchis was a base policeman. He served two years in Texas and two years in Korea. While in Korea, DeMarchis met his wife Kim, who was a citizen of that country.

At the time, she was working in a civilian position on the base. DeMarchis and Kim were married and returned together to the United States.

After returning home, DeMarchis continued his education in the law-enforcement field. He earned an associates degree at the Westmoreland County Community College and bachelor and master degrees at the University of Pittsburgh in criminal justice.

Today, DeMarchis is an adjunct professor at both the Westmoreland County Community College and the University of Pittsburgh.

He teaches sometimes as many as three nights per week and when asked if he had any hobbies, DeMarchis said, “Teaching keeps me very busy because I teach credit classes and at two different police academies.”

In 1980, DeMarchis became employed by the Jeannette Police Department. During his time at the police department, DeMarchis earned the position of captain. DeMarchis was also invited and attended the FBI's National Academy for Police Officers in Quantico, Va.

DeMarchis said very few officers are invited and, it was “quite an honor to be chosen.”

After leaving the Jeannette department, he worked for nine years as a Westmoreland County Detective.

When the late District Judge Mary DiClaudio decided not to seek reelection, DeMarchis won the seat in the election and has been serving Jeannette and the surrounding communities since 2006.

“We (Jeannette) are a very close-knit community and there are many more positive than negative things about Jeannette.”

His good opinion of Jeannette is evidenced by the fact that he and Kim have lived here for the 37 years of their marriage and raised their daughters, Kelly and Patricia, in the city. Both women are graduates of Jeannette High School.

Kelly is an attorney in Washington, D.C. and Patricia still lives in Jeannette and works in banking.

Although he professes to not have any hobbies, DeMarchis is an avid walker.

“I enjoy my walks daily.”

He has several routes around town so he does not get bored and also said, “how many miles I walk a day depends on how much time I have and also, the weather can be a factor.

“I like the hills. They are a good workout.”

When the weather is too bad to walk outdoors, DeMarchis uses an elliptical machine at home.

Anyone who is interested in law enforcement, criminal justice, or wants to become an avid walker should take some time to get to this neighbor from Paruco Park, Judge Joe DeMarchis.

Margie Stanislaw is a freelance writer.