ShareThis Page

Four Monroeville police officers sworn in

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Four new Monroeville police officers were sworn in at the Sept. 10 meeting of Monroeville Council. Mayor Greg Erosenko and Chief Steven Pasquarella are flanked by, from left, Matt White, James MacDonald, Chad Hoffner and Pierre DeFelice.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express
Four new Monroeville police officers were sworn in at the Sept. 10 meeting of Monroeville Council. Mayor Greg Erosenko and Chief Steven Pasquarella are flanked by, from left, Matt White, James MacDonald, Chad Hoffner and Pierre DeFelice.

Monroeville officials swore in four police officers last week to help fill out a duty roster that had been about 20 percent smaller than officials say is budgeted for.

With a combined experience of more than 25 years, the new officers took their oath with the mayor and saluted the police chief following a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by Monroeville Officer James Markel.

“These four officers bring a wide range of training and resources to the Monroeville Police Department,” police Chief Steve Pascarella said.

“We've stolen four so far (from the Pittsburgh Police Department), and they're not real pleased with us,” Pascarella joked.

The new officers bring the roster number up to 45, but officials said there is room in the 2013 budget for 50.

Pascarella said he expects the department to undergo more turnover during the next year because seven officers will be eligible for retirement in 2014.

Despite a real estate tax revenue shortfall this year and a budget deficit projected for next year, municipal manager Lynette McKinney said public safety takes top priority.

McKinney sent a memo to the heads of other municipal departments — such as public works — that directed them to submit at least one position that the department could do without in 2014, or other ways to reduce spending within their department, officials said.

The probationary period for new police officers lasts between six months and a year, said Sergeant Ed Lewkowicz, who helped train new hires. Supervising officers evaluate the new officers and regularly check in with the police chief throughout that time period, Lewkowicz said.

Pascarella said he has a plan to reduce the number of retail thefts and small drug deals throughout the Monroeville business district, but he said he would need a fully staffed department to carry it out.

As family and friends of new officers mingled before the ceremony last week, Lewkowicz said many officers in the region want to wear the Monroeville uniform. And not only for the relatively high rate of pay.

“We are busy enough that there still is enough excitement,” he said. “And there's a decent amount of guys on the force, so you're never by yourself for very long. There's always a backup coming quickly.”

Officer Pierre DeFelice, 29, echoed Lewkowicz's sentiment. DeFelice served with the Irwin Police Department for five years prior to being sworn in last week.

“I landed in the cream of the crop,” he said.

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.