ShareThis Page

White Oak names Bender new police chief

| Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, 5:23 a.m.
Mayor Ina Jean Marten swears in new White Oak police Chief Lou Bender.
AARON LOUGHNER | DAILY NEWS
Mayor Ina Jean Marten swears in new White Oak police Chief Lou Bender. AARON LOUGHNER | DAILY NEWS
Mayor Ina Jean Marten congratulates new White Oak police Chief Lou Bender.
AARON LOUGHNER | DAILY NEWS
Mayor Ina Jean Marten congratulates new White Oak police Chief Lou Bender. AARON LOUGHNER | DAILY NEWS

White Oak council unanimously appointed Lou Bender from within the ranks of its own police department on Monday night as the borough's new chief.

Bender is replacing Joe Hoffman, who retired on Dec. 31. Council entered into a three-year contract with Bender effective Monday.

Mayor Ina Jean Marton then swore in Bender to head the 12-member department.

“Chief Bender is now filling the shoes of Chief Hoffman, which we didn't think we could do,” Marton said. “I think you'll do a fine job.”

Council president Dave Pasternak said council wanted to hire from within the department and chose two candidates for interviews.

Borough manager Jack Petro Jr. said called both “great candidates.”

“I think the reason Lou Bender stuck out was because of his experience and leadership as a lieutenant in the police department,” he said.

Councilman Ron Massung, who chairs the public safety committee, said Bender is a hands-on officer and that he looks forward to working with him.

Bender has been a police officer in the borough for 21 years, the last six as lieutenant and the six before that as sergeant. He was a detective for one year and a patrolman for eight years.

Before coming to White Oak, Bender was an officer in North Braddock, East Pittsburgh and with Pittsburgh Housing Authority police. He was in the U.S. Army for three years before his career in law enforcement.

The new chief thanked council and the mayor for the opportunity.

“I know it was a very tough decision between two very good candidates,” he said. “I thank you for the honor and the privilege of being able to serve as the chief of police. I'd like to thank my family and friends who all came out (Monday night) for all the support they've given me over the years. I'd like to thank retired Chief Joe Hoffman, who not only has helped train me for this position, but has also trained me in martial arts for the past 12 years.”

Bender thanked the borough fire departments, EMS and his fellow officers.

“I know the sacrifices you guys make on a daily basis,” Bender told the officers in attendance. “I know the dedication and pride you have for the department. I'm very honored to be able to lead you guys into the next couple years.”

Bender has a black belt in Shingitai Jujitsu and a brown belt in Judo.

“I want to continue with the high standards that have already been set by the police department,” Bender said. “I want to continue to be aggressive on crime and protect the residents, businesses, visitors and especially the children.”

He said he'd like the department to continue to be proactive.

Stacy Lee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or slee@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.