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Greensburg police chief Lyons gets three-year contract

| Sunday, June 10, 2012, 2:47 p.m.

In a 4-1 vote yesterday, Greensburg City Council awarded a new three-year contract to police Chief Walter "Wally" Lyons.

Councilwoman Kathleen McCormick, who cast the lone dissenting vote last night, said she opposes Lyons receiving a take-home car. She said the vehicle is a "burden to the taxpayers," who have to pay for the vehicle, gasoline and insurance.

Mayor Karl Eisaman replied that many communities in Westmoreland County supply their police chiefs with a vehicle. He had a list of nine communities that supply a car, including Penn and Rostraver townships, Monessen, Murrysville and New Kensington.

Other council members maintain the chief needs a take-home car to get to a crime scene quickly.

McCormick said Lyons could use his personal vehicle and be reimbursed work mileage.

Eisaman said that if the car was taken from Lyons, the city would add it to the police fleet, and residents would still have to pay for gasoline and insurance.

"The chief's car could be sold," McCormick replied.

In addition to the chief, three other officers in the police department have take-home vehicles: two detectives and the canine officer.

Lyons noted after the meeting that the four vehicles were purchased through grant funds.

"It allows for quicker response to emergency calls," he added.

Under the deal, which begins next month, Lyons will receive a salary of $80,470 for 2011. He receives an additional $16,100 as longevity pay for his years of service. His rate in the remaining years of the pact are the same as what officers receive under their union contract, plus longevity pay.

Lyons has been with the police department for 38 years and has been chief since 2003.

Council members agreed to a five-year lease agreement to buy a new truck for Rick Hoyle, road superintendent, for $31,700.

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