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Elizabeth hires new officer-in-charge

| Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 12:31 a.m.

Elizabeth Police Department has new leadership.

Council introduced acting Officer-in-Charge Tim Butler at a meeting on Tuesday.

Butler, 38, of Brentwood served as a part-time patrolman for Elizabeth for the past 15 years.

Council vice president Robin Miller said Butler was appointed officer-in-charge at a public safety meeting on July 8, and promoted to full-time status on Friday.

“I like it,” Butler said of his new position. “(We) got a long road ahead of us. I'm going to try some new things.”

Butler wants to implement new policies and procedures for handling evidence. He said the current methods are outdated, and will work with the Allegheny County District Attorney's office to meet new standards.

“We're going to basically update everything,” Butler said.

Butler replaces former Officer-in-Charge John Snelson, who left the force to become Elizabeth Township's code enforcement and zoning officer.

Township commissioners hired Snelson at a special meeting on July 7. Snelson, an Elizabeth resident, was an officer for 18 years and led borough law enforcement for the past 14.

“Big shoes to fill,” Butler said of Snelson. “I wish him luck. He wished me luck and we've actually been in contact over the last couple days trying to get things straightened out. He's been helping me with a bunch of things.”

Elizabeth's police department has 10 officers, including Butler. The other nine work part time.

That roster includes Joseph Kozarian, who has resigned to dedicate more time to his full-time job in the Baldwin-Whitehall School District, as well as four new part-time officers who were sworn in on Tuesday by Mayor V. Ann Malady.

“It's a very exciting day here in the borough to have new officers,” Malady said. “We look forward to working with you for the good of the borough.”

Sworn in were Kristina Mayernik, Ray Johnson, Michael Mace, and a patrolman whose name is being withheld from print because of undercover narcotics investigations. They were hired at the July 8 public safety meeting.

Mayernik has experience as an officer in Florida and the nation's capital. Mace patrolled Smithton and Forward Township, and Johnson works as a Liberty officer and Glassport public works employee. The other officer has about eight years of experience working drug cases as a North Carolina sheriff's deputy. All four are expected to start in early August.

“I think we're adding some good officers to the police department,” Butler said.

Malady commended other officers for their recent foot patrols and traffic enforcement.

A public safety meet-and-greet is planned for Sept. 2 at 6 p.m. in Duke Park.

Miller said the event will give residents a chance to meet the new officers and build relationships.

“I want to hear their feedback,” Miller said.

Councilors wanted to dispel rumors that they do not support borough businesses, particularly Steel Rivers Designs and owner Jon Neff.

Miller said the business installed decals on a patrol car for free, and the borough took its second police car to another business for decals because of time constraints. She said council supports all borough businesses, and meant Neff no disrespect.

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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