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Headed East

| Thursday, March 22, 2007

EAST FRANKLIN -- Wednesday was desk-cleaning time for state police Sgt. Steve Ignatz. But Ignatz isn't retiring. He's been promoted and will have a new job with the state police in Harrisburg.

As of Saturday, Sgt. Ignatz will be Lt. Ignatz and will assume his new duties as commander of the Commonwealth Law Enforcement Assistance Network (CLEAN) Administration Section, Computer Operations Division.

Most recently, Ignatz, 44, served as patrol unit supervisor at Troop D, East Franklin.

Ignatz, a Leechburg native, said he began his police career by serving three years as a municipal police officer in Leechburg and Gilpin Township.

"The idea of becoming a police officer was planted when I was 13 and attended Camp Cadet here in Armstrong County in 1975," he said. "After serving with Leechburg and Gilpin Township, I decided to take the test for state trooper.

"During the past 23 years with the state police I've served at various duty stations. But for the past 13 or so, Camp Cadet has always been a pet project for me. I first became associated with the program in 1993, then in 1994 I became director. It's a great program and has inspired a good number of young people to seek a career in law enforcement."

After graduating from the State Police Academy in Hershey in 1985, Ignatz's first duty station was Franklin, and later, Seneca. He first served in Armstrong County in 1987 and said he quickly grew to love the area. Before returning to Troop D, East Franklin, Ignatz served in Butler, Beaver, Highspire and Harrisburg, and on the turnpike patrol in Newville. He was promoted to corporal in 1992 and to sergeant in 1999. He returned to Armstrong County in 2001.

He looks to his new position as an exciting challenge:

"It will be different," he said, "but I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to miss the troopers here. Although I won't be moving from the area. I will commute to Harrisburg during the week and be home on weekends and other days. I'm going to miss interacting with the people of the county. We may have our problems here with drugs and other crimes, as you do anywhere, but for the most part the people here are great. I've had the pleasure of knowing many of them and have had many young people from the county enroll in Camp Cadet. We also have a great working relationship with the local police departments and with the District Attorney's Office. I'm going to miss that, too."

Ignatz is a 2001 graduate of the administrative officers class at the University of Louisville, Southern Police Institute. He resides in Manor Township with his wife, Diana, and sons Kendall, Brendon and Christopher.

One East Franklin station trooper, Joe Murphy, said simply, "He (Ignatz) was one of the greatest guys I've ever worked with. We're sorry to see him go."

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