ShareThis Page
Fawn’s ‘working police chief’ juggles patrol, administrative duties | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Fawn’s ‘working police chief’ juggles patrol, administrative duties

Madasyn Czebiniak
1154722_web1_vnd-mayberry-051519
Madasyn Czebiniak | Tribune-Review
Fawn police Chief Tim Mayberry

It’s not easy being Fawn’s only full-time police officer, but police Chief Tim Mayberry makes do.

“It can be very stressful,” Mayberry said. “If I had to do it all over again, this isn’t the kind of policing I would want to do. It’s not for everybody.”

The Fawn Police Department has two officers. The other officer, Keith Lazaron, works part-time.

Mayberry is what is referred to as a “working chief,” meaning he goes out and responds to emergency calls in addition to administrative duties.

“Everything that a patrol officer does, I have to do,” Mayberry said.

Fawn is not the only Alle-Kiski Valley police department where police chiefs regularly do patrol duties. Others include Arnold, Leechburg and Upper Burrell.

Mayberry has been Fawn’s police chief since 2006. He said he works at least 40 hours a week “if not a lot more dependent upon the circumstances.”

Lazaron, the part-timer, can work up to 32 hours a week.

Only one officer is on duty at a time and the department is not manned around the clock. When neither officer is working, the township relies on coverage from state police in Kittanning, Mayberry said.

Mayberry said having only one officer on duty is one of his department’s biggest challenges because that officer is responsible for everything.

But, he added, he’s gotten used to it.

“We’ve always had one officer on at a time. It is what it is,” Mayberry said. “If we had the amount of activity as other places, then there would be a need to add more officers.”

The department responds to over 500 calls a year, including emergency medical service and stray dog calls.

When incidents require more than one officer to respond, Fawn can request backup from neighboring departments such as Tarentum or Harrison.

It used to provide around-the-clock police coverage, but that ended when it became too expensive to maintain.

“We were having issues with arbitration. The bargaining unit keeps wanting more and more and the township doesn’t have it,” Mayberry said.

Another challenge the department is facing is keeping part-time officers, who tend to work at multiple police departments.

“We’ve gotten a lot of applicants over the years, and I’ve hired a number of them, and they don’t normally want to stay too long if they have another opportunity to go somewhere else for more money and more experience,” Mayberry said. “They may stay a couple months and then they’re gone.”

The department may be small, but Mayberry said the residents and township supervisors want their local police.

“It’s something we always strive for, to keep our police department,” Mayberry said. “A lot of residents will say the state police are up in Kittanning, they’re far away. Their response time isn’t as good as a local officer. The community as a whole wants the police department and the board of supervisors is committed to that.”

Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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.