City police commander injured in head-on collision will return to department next week
By Margaret Harding
Published: Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, 4:30 p.m.
A Pittsburgh police commander severely injured in a head-on collision will return to work next week.
Linda Rosato-Barone, 55, of Sheraden confirmed on Thursday that she will head the narcotics and vice squad upon her return on Monday.
“It will be a new position and a new challenge, but I'm looking forward to it,” Rosato-Barone said. She said she will go to the training academy for updates and certification before taking over the squad. She declined further comment.
Rosato-Barone has been on leave since the crash on Steubenville Pike in Robinson on July 27, 2012. The driver of a minivan, identified by Robinson police as Barbara Loniero, 46, of Oakdale, veered across the center lane and struck Rosato-Barone's city-issued Chevy Impala head-on.
Commanders are permitted to drive city-issued vehicles when off duty because they are required to be on call around-the-clock, spokeswoman Diane Richard said at the time.
Loniero complained of chest pain and told Robinson police she didn't know what happened in the crash. Court records indicate she was not charged. Robinson police did not return messages seeking comment.
Rosato-Barone's teenage daughter, a passenger in the Impala, was treated for minor injuries.
Rosato-Barone had broken ribs on both sides of her body and multiple compound fractures to her lower extremities.
“I said at the time, ‘If anybody can come back, it's Linda Barone,' ” said Cmdr. Kathryn Degler. “I don't know of anybody who works harder personally or professionally than Cmdr. Barone. I knew if there was a way to come back, she would.”
Degler, the Zone 4 commander, has served as acting commander of narcotics and vice. She will return to the Squirrel Hill station when Rosato-Barone returns.
“We are glad to have her back as a member of our Command Staff family,” Acting police Chief Regina McDonald said in a statement.
Before the crash, Rosato-Barone supervised the support services division of city police. That unit includes the property room, the warrant office and the central reports and records unit and is currently under the supervision of Cmdr. Cheryl Doubt.
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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