Saltsburg police chief resigns
Saltsburg Borough Council Monday night accepted the resignation of its police chief, Gary Walker, at its regular monthly meeting.
In his resignation letter, dated July 16 and effective July 18, Walker cited changes to his personal circumstances as his reason for resigning from not just the Saltsburg police department, but also law enforcement itself, adding that he will return to his hometown.
“It has been my utmost pleasure in serving the citizens of Saltsburg Borough and it is my hope that the general feeling of security is at least somewhat better than when I initially arrived here,” he wrote in his resignation letter. “I hope that things continue to go well for you and the borough of Saltsburg and that your endeavors continue to bring about a positive and up-lifting way of life here.”
Walker was hired as officer in charge of the police department in January 2011 and was promoted to police chief three months later.
He has worked in law enforcement since 1984, spending the bulk of his time with the Mifflin County Regional Police Department in Lewistown. He served 24 years there, 11 as sergeant. He also worked for many years with the National Park Service.
President P. J. Hruska said borough council is not looking to hire a new chief at this time.
Mayor Elizabeth “Cookie” Rocco said that the department's five part-time police officers are “in transition, they are working together to keep the department functioning the way it did when the chief was here.
“They're a great group of guys. The safety and concerns of Saltsburg Borough are first and foremost in their minds.”
Council intends to delay until October plans for its annual observance of National Night Out, a night of family fun meant to raise awareness of the police and the programs in the community.
In other police business, council approved the purchase of Metro Alert system at a cost not to exceed $5,000. The system is expected to help the police department streamline its recording of incidents and citations.
“Right now, it's very time-consuming,” said Kathy Muir, council vice president. “Every time they issue a citation, they have to come to the station and log everything,” which, she said, depending on the incident, can take up to three hours.
Metro Alert is more user-friendly and can be used via remote access, allowing officers to do the work from their cars as they are patroling and conducting traffic stops.
Gina DelFavero is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2915 or firstname.lastname@example.org.