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Westmoreland County park police chief promoted

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Friday, June 13, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Rebuilding Westmoreland County's public safety department continued on Thursday with the appointment of Nick Caesar as its deputy director.

Caesar, 43, of Jeannette has served for the last decade as chief of the county's park police, which oversees security at the courthouse and all county properties.

He was hired by public safety director Roland “Buddy” Mertz, who was selected last week by commissioners to fill the job, one day after the sudden resignation of director Brian Jones.

Jones, a 20-year veteran of the department, had been director for two months. He replaced Michael Brooker, who served for less than two years.

Mertz said he anticipates a good working relationship with Caesar.“Together, he and I will evaluate the department and reorganize to make the best use out of our staff,” Mertz said. “We have a great chemistry together.”

The public safety department operates with a $51 million budget and oversees emergency management and response as well as 911 dispatching throughout the county.

Caesar's police background will work well with Mertz's experience with emergency response and firefighting.

For now, Caesar will continue to serve as the park police chief in addition to his new duties.

Mertz said Caesar will receive a pay raise, although the final amount of his salary has yet to be finalized.

Caesar now earns an annual salary of about $59,000.

“The place really needs a lot of attention. They need stability,” Caesar said of the public safety department.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or

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