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Westmoreland

North Huntingdon puts Sgt. Rizzo in charge of police

Joe Napsha
| Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 10:00 p.m.
North Huntingdon police Sgt. Robert Rizzo
Joe Napsha | Tribune-Review
North Huntingdon police Sgt. Robert Rizzo

A veteran North Huntingdon police officer will run the township's police force after the department's only lieutenant retires May 31.

Sgt. Robert Rizzo, who has been a sergeant for the past 15 years, was approved by the township commissioners this week as the officer in charge as of June 1. Rizzo will assume the duties of leading the department after Lt. Rod Mahinske retires.

Rizzo, a 27-year veteran of the force, will work alongside sergeants David Sage and Jeff Bouldin and Detective Kirk Youngstead. Patrolman Michael Veronie will retire on May 31.

“They definitely will be hard to replace. That's a lot of longevity to replace,” Commissioner Zachary Haigis, president of the seven-member board, said Wednesday.The commissioners did not indicate when they might hire a new chief. Mahinske, who has been a township police officer since 1978, had been a candidate for the chief's post, along with several other officers. Only internal candidates have been considered since the township began the search process in January.

Township commissioners fired former Chief Andrew Lisiecki in September 2016. He is suing the township and the four commissioners who voted to fire him.

To replace those retiring officers, the commissioners authorized the township's civil service commission to begin the testing process to develop a promotion list for sergeant and lieutenant.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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