Cheswick, Springdale Twp. begin era of regional police force | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Cheswick, Springdale Twp. begin era of regional police force

Emily Balser
1359243_web1_vnd-policemerger02-070219
Emily Balser | Tribune-Review
Allegheny Valley Regional Police Department Officer Craig Cummings begins the first shift for the newly formed department on Monday, July 1, 2019.
1359243_web1_vnd-policemerger01-070219
Emily Balser | Tribune-Review
Allegheny Valley Regional Police Department Officer Craig Cummings begins the first shift for the newly formed department on Monday, July 1, 2019.
1359243_web1_vnd-policemerger03-070219
Emily Balser | Tribune-Review Emily Balser | Tribune-Review
From left, Allegheny County Councilman Nick Futules, Sen. Lindsey Williams, Cheswick Councilwoman Kathy Gillard, Cheswick Councilman Michael Girardi, state Rep. Frank Dermody, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Springdale Township Commissioner Shirley Redman and Rick Schwartz, member of the Allegheny Valley Regional Police Commission hold a ribbon-cutting for the new department on Monday, July 1, 2019.
1359243_web1_vnd-policemerger04-070219
Emily Balser | Tribune-Review Emily Balser | Tribune-Review
Officers from left, Brad Ayers, Chris Fabec and Joe Albaugh are sworn in to the new Allegheny Valley Regional Police Department on Monday, July 1, 2019.
1359243_web1_vnd-policemerger05-070219
Emily Balser | Tribune-Review Emily Balser | Tribune-Review
Cheswick Councilman Michael Girardi, left, and Springdale Township Commissioner Shirley Redman, who both serve on the new department’s commission, speak during a ceremony on Monday, July 1, 2019.

The Allegheny Valley Regional Police Department is officially on patrol.

Officers started the first shift for the newly formed department, which merged the Cheswick and Springdale Township departments, at 7 a.m. Monday.

The department is headquartered in Springdale Township and has a substation in Cheswick.

The merger took a year and a half. It included a study by the state Department of Community and Economic Development that recommended the merger.

“This is a day we’ve all been looking forward to,” said Shirley Redman, a Springdale Township commissioner who serves as president of the police department commission. “Where we were and what we’ve accomplished in 18 months is astounding.”

A ceremony was held Monday afternoon at the Springdale Township Municipal Building, where residents and officials — including state Sen. Lindsey Williams, state Rep. Frank Dermody, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Allegheny County Councilman Nick Futules — praised the department and the municipalities for working together to get the merger done.

District Judge David Sosovicka swore in the officers. The department has two full-time officers, including Chief Mike Naviglia, and six part-time officers.

“It was a very nice turnout — a lot of support,” Naviglia said.

Officials said it had been 50 years since there was a police merger in the county.

“This is a big, big day in Allegheny County,” Fitzgerald said. “This is a historic day.

“I think you have set the example. It won’t be 50 years (until) the next one.”

Williams said she drove straight from Harrisburg to make the 3 p.m. event.

“You guys have shown a model of what other communities, when they’re looking to do this, can do,” she said.

Springdale Township resident Robert Fairman said he’s always been in favor of the merger.

“I think it’s going to be good,” he said. “I think it’s going to be better coverage.”

Craig Cummings, the department’s other full-time officer, worked the first shift.

“The day-to-day stuff is really not going to change for us,” he said.

Cummings had been with the Springdale Township department for about 12 years and has worked at other departments in the Alle-Kiski Valley for nearly 20 years.

“I’m a small-town guy,” he said.

Cummings said merging with Cheswick means patrolling a few more streets. Springdale Township previously provided mutual aid to police calls in the borough. Cheswick is about 1 square mile.

He said residents should feel at ease about the new department.

“We hope they don’t see any difference (in police coverage) at all except for something good,” he said.

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, [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.