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Edgewood names police chief

| Tuesday, April 8, 2008, 12:00 p.m.

Edgewood Council has chosen a veteran in law enforcement as the borough's police chief.

Robert Payne, 61, of Monroeville was hired Monday night on a 5-0 vote. Council members Mal Hellett and Nancy Davis Pryce did not attend the meeting.

Payne, who was police chief in both Pitcairn and Plum and most recently has been security manager with Coca-Cola Enterprises in Western Pennsylvania, will be sworn in April 21.

His salary was set at $65,000.

"In the end, what set him apart was his wealth of experience in a supervisory capacity," said Councilwoman Heidi McDonald, who chairs the public safety committee.

Payne was selected from three finalists. There were 12 candidates initially, McDonald said.

In addition to his stints as a police chief in the two municipalities, Payne was an Allegheny County homicide detective and a chief of police at Carlow University and Carnegie Mellon University,

Payne will succeed Paul Wood, who retired in January after 5 1/2 years as chief.

The Edgewood department has 10 full-time and two part-time officers in addition to the chief. The police budget is $1.084 million.

Payne, a native of North Braddock, said Edgewood is a "good fit."

"I feel like I'm going home," he said.

Payne said he decided to make the move back to the public sector because police work on the community level "is in my blood."

"What I can contribute is the vast amount of knowledge and information I have gained over the years. I want to help the community out."

Payne said he became weary of the travel associated with his job at Coca-Cola.

"I'm a family guy," he said. "I"m not the kind of person who likes living out of a suitcase."

Payne said his first goal will be ensuring the police department completes the requirements to become accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, a national accreditation program.

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