Fontana appointed new chief of Westmoreland park police
Veteran officer Henry Fontana is the new chief of the Westmoreland County Park Police.
Fontana, 56, replaces Kirk Nolan, who left to become chief deputy to Coroner Ken Bacha.
Since 2014, Fontana has served as a park police lieutenant, overseeing patrols at Westmoreland County Community College and the complex that houses Westmoreland Manor, the jail and juvenile detention center.
He previously worked for more than two decades as a Greensburg police officer and detective.
“I really like these guys,” Fontana said. “It’s kind of like coming back to where I started.”
Fontana started his law enforcement career as a deputy sheriff and also worked as a jail guard before he became a police officer.
County commissioners interviewed five applicants for the chief’s job, including several in-house candidates, according to human resources director Amanda Bernard.
“He’s an excellent choice and has a wealth of experience in and out of Westmoreland County government,” Commissioner Ted Kopas said of Fontana. “I think he will be an asset for the department and the county.”
Fontana will earn $57,513 in his new post, the same salary Nolan received.
Nolan, a former state police officer, was hired in May 2015. Bernard said Nolan took a $4,000 pay cut to serve as Bacha’s top deputy.
Park police are the primary law enforcement force on county property. Officers patrol the courthouse as well as county parks and other properties and provide security at the community college, Arnold Palmer Regional Airport and at the Westmoreland County Transit Authority.
The department, the largest municipal police force in the county, has 31 full-time and seven part-time officers and four members of its leadership staff.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .