ShareThis Page

Council approves changes for Irwin police department

Tony LaRussa
| Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The Irwin police department will get a new set of wheels, spruce up its office on Main Street and get a technology upgrade.

Council has agreed to give police Chief Roger Pivirotto the go-ahead to buy a 2014 Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle for his department as long as the price does not exceed $35,000. The chief said the new vehicle will cost substantially less than the amount budgeted.

Kenny Ross Automotive Group in North Huntingdon, which participates in a state program that negotiates the price municipalities pay for vehicles, will take two older vehicles the department owns as trade-ins, he said.

“They evaluated our old (Ford) Crown Victoria, which has a blown motor, and a 2004 Chevy Impala we have with 90,000 miles on it that would need about $2,000 worth of work to pass inspection,” the chief said. “They'll give us $500 for both vehicles, so we're looking at a final cost of about $30,000 for the Explorer.”

While Pivirotto was not necessarily in the market for an SUV, he said, it is a practical choice for police departments because of their size.

“The large Crown Victorias, which have been used as police vehicles for years, are no longer being made,” he said. “A lot of police departments have been replacing them with Impalas, but they are pretty cramped, especially for larger officers.”

In addition to more space, SUVs have four-wheel drive and higher ground clearance, which enable officers to drive off-road if necessary, the chief said. The department already has a 2010 Dodge Charger and a 2012 Impala.

Council also approved the hiring of A to Z Construction of North Huntingdon to remodel the second-floor police station, which also houses the mayor's office.

The $9,800 contract calls for repainting the interior of the station, installing commercial-grade vinyl flooring, refurbishing countertops with new laminate and building a “knee” wall, which is a low wall with a gate to separate the common area, according to a copy of the proposal submitted by the contractor.

Council President Robert Wayman said improving the appearance of the police station “is long, long overdue.”

“Quite honestly, it's somewhat deplorable now,” said Wayman, adding that council members would be asked to “work out the aesthetics” of the project when the time comes to select color schemes for the materials.

Borough manager Mary Benko said “it has probably been 20 years” since any improvements have made to the building.

The police department's outdated computers will be upgraded with two desktop units and a pair of laptop computers and mounting system to place them in police vehicles. The new computers will be outfitted with an electronic records-management and reporting system the borough purchased several years ago. The contract for the new computer hardware is $5,849.

Tony LaRussa is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or at

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.