Mt. Pleasant board hires 2 police officers for district
A soon-to-retire police chief and a retired Pennsylvania State Police corporal will be roaming the halls of Mt. Pleasant Area School District's buildings on Aug. 26.
School directors voted unanimously Monday night to hire Stephen Ober and Joe Alessandro as school police officers. Director Rick Albright was absent from the meeting.
Ober had been with the Mt. Pleasant Borough Police Department since 1979. He was hired as a part-time officer and has been police chief since February 2003. He will retire this year.
Ober said he applied for the position because he had a lot to offer the district, “since we've moved into the hazards of this school age.”
Ober also is at a point where he can retire and receive a full pension.
“Coming into the district and working with the kids is always something I wanted to do,” he said.
Alessandro graduated from the State Police Academy in 1998 and patrolled in several municipalities, including Greensburg, until 1996, when he began working in the Bureau of Drug Law Enforcement with the state police.
In 2001, he was promoted to corporal, spent time as a patrol supervisor and then worked with the Greensburg Vice Unit and as a Clandestine Lab Team member until his retirement this year.
Alessandro said he heard about the school police position through the grapevine.
“This is a new chapter of my life,” he said. “I ... retired in April, but I was a little too young to retire.”
He added he has always enjoyed coaching and being around students, serving as assistant varsity wrestling strength and conditioning coach at Hempfield Area High School in recent years as well as the Norwin Girls Club Lacrosse assistant coach this year.
Director Warren Leeder, chairman of the recently formed safety and security committee, said the first recommendation from the committee was to hire police officers.
“Never once did I hear any board member putting cost above the safety of our students,” he said.
All the directors welcomed the new officers.
Director Charles Holt said he was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the two candidates. Director Annette Wisneski said she wasn't sure about having officers carrying guns in the schools, but accepted it.
“As a new mother, this decision was very difficult for me. But I needed to believe and accept that we needed to go in that direction, knowing that when you go in that direction you won't go back,” she said.
The officers will come in with the rest of the staff on Aug. 19 so they are prepared to be in the halls on the first day of school on Aug. 26.
Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kin of 2013 DUI crash victim in Hempfield lose young family in fire
- DNA evidence in alleged June 2013 rape leads to Latrobe man’s arrest
- Hempfield killer Stahl ordered to pay for slain wife’s funeral
- Mt. Pleasant residents voice support for Zilli as borough police chief
- Westmoreland prison online visit program delayed again
- East Huntingdon man, 91, finds 2nd career as a woodworker
- Ligonier Township to look into the feasability of regional police force
- North Huntingdon church shaken by youth pastor’s child porn rap
- Seat in 32nd District deemed crucial for Pennsylvania Senate control
- Scottdale appoints borough solicitor
- Westmoreland group gets pet oxygen masks for area fire departments