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Hirings to bring Brentwood police staff to 15

| Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Hires and promotions for the Brentwood Borough Police Department during the last several months have helped to right-size the police force and create the appropriate chain of command for all shifts.

Brentwood Council members approved the conditional hiring of two officers Tuesday night. This will bring the 13-member force, which includes the police chief, to 15.

“That will give us the numbers we're looking for,” Mayor Ken Lockhart said.

Council members agreed in a unanimous vote to hire Carl Rech. In a separate vote, council members voted 6-1 to hire Farrell S. Wagner for a police officer position. Councilman Rich Schubert dissented.

Both men must pass physical and psychological examinations before starting the job. A patrol officer's full-time base wage in Brentwood in 2013 is $73,900. A newly hired officer, who has less than two years experience, will earn 60 percent of that, police Chief Robert Butelli said.

Brentwood officials hired the last patrol officer less than a year and a half ago, Butelli said.

But, over the years, new hires have left the job for other departments or a state police job — sometimes because it's closer to their home, the chief and mayor said. “We've had a number that we've hired and they left,” Lockhart said. “They come on board and say this is the place they want to be and then they turn around and leave.”

Having a full staff of officers is important, the mayor said.

“We needed them to cut down on (over time),” he said.

Council members in July approved the promotion of two officers — Adam Zeppuhar and Matthew DeLallo — to sergeant. This was the first promotion in the department since Sgt. John Vojtas was promoted in the late 1990s.

The promotion provides the department with a needed chain of command, where each shift now has an officer in charge, Lockhart said.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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