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Brothers oversee police in Springdale township, borough

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Friday, Nov. 27, 2009

The brotherhood of the badge now means more in Springdale.

Last week, Springdale Township promoted Officer Mike Naviglia, 37, to chief.

He had been acting chief about two years.

Since 1997, his older brother, Joe, 47, has been chief of police for the adjacent Springdale Borough, both in Allegheny County.

The men, who were raised in Tarentum and graduated from Highlands High School 10 years apart, may be the only brothers in the Alle-Kiski Valley who are police chiefs at the same time.

"At least we're the only brothers to be chiefs in both Springdales," Mike Naviglia chuckled.

He said he will continue to use his current partner, Havoc, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, to help with drug and general investigations.

Springdale Township has four full-time officers.

Springdale has three full-time and four part-time officers.

Both departments provide service 24 hours a day. The departments frequently back up each other, as well as other police departments.

In fact, on Wednesday afternoon minutes after they gibed about being chiefs, both men were all business when they raced to Tarentum to help at a bank robbery.

They returned to their municipalities to handle traffic issues and a simple assault case involving two New Kensington women.

The elder Naviglia is happy about the promotion.

"It's good to see him become a police officer and then become chief," Joe Naviglia said.

He said their late father, Joe, who was a Tarentum police officer for 33 years, would be proud, too.

Mike Naviglia joined the Navy after high school. Later he was a part-time police officer in the township, Cheswick and Oakmont.

Joe Naviglia and his wife, Michele, have a son, JT. Mike Naviglia and his wife, Jennifer, have two sons, James and Thomas.

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