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North Versailles police chief to retire

| Friday, May 16, 2014, 2:56 a.m.

North Versailles Township commissioners accepted the retirement of their police chief and appointed an acting chief at Thursday's council meeting.

Police Chief Vince DiCenzo Jr.'s last day on the force is May 25. He is in Washington for National Police Week.

Officer-in-Charge James Matrazzo was officially appointed acting chief, a position he's held during DiCenzo's vacations and a three-month medical leave last year.

Both motions passed by a 5-0 vote. Commissioner Daryl Mitchell and board of commissioners vice president Frank Bivins were absent.

“I'm glad for Vince. He deserves it. He did a lot of time here,” board of commissioners president George Thompson said. “Matrazzo, we're going to put him to the test and see what he's made out of.”

“We're going to be missing a good guy, a good officer when the chief leaves here,” Commissioner Russell Saula Jr., police committee chairman, said. “He's going to be missed. We wish him well ... As far as Officer Matrazzo coming in, I think he's going to do a good job. We're going to work with him. He's got some good ideas that I've already been talking to him about. We're putting him in there to see if he can handle it.”

Commissioners plan to begin a state-wide search for a permanent police chief in June, with interviews in September.

DiCenzo became chief in January 2010. He first was hired by the township as a part-time patrolman in October 1982.

Matrazzo was hired as a full-time officer in 1995 and became officer-in-charge in 1999.

In other police matters, commissioners accepted the resignation of part-time patrolman Joshua Boyd, effective immediately, and the resignation of full-time officer Francis Speranza, effective Monday.

Boyd served the township for less than a year and took a job at another municipality. Speranza served for at least 12 years and will be paid for his unused vacation, personal, sick and comp days. He is leaving for a job in Monroeville.

Saula commended Speranza for his years of service.

Commissioners ratified a phone vote taken on May 5 to hire Robert Scuilli, upon completion of a psychological and physical exam, as a part-time officer at $13.87 per hour, and the purchase of a 2009 Harley Davidson police motorcycle from Ross Township for $7,500. Thompson said the bike is a good purchase and a good deal, and would like to see more officers patrolling on motorcycles.

Commissioners approved the $1,990 purchase of a gun safe/ammunition storage cabinet for the police department.

Commissioners amended the starting rate of a dispatcher trainee from $9.60 per hour to $10.49 per hour.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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