by Jonathan Weaver
Manor Township’s first full-time police chief is officially on duty.
During Tuesday’s reorganizational meeting, supervisors Paul Rearick, Bob Southworth and Don Palmer formally appointed then-part-time Police Corporal Eric Petrosky to be the new full-time police chief.
During the regular meeting at the end of December, Rearick – who will be supervisor chairman again in 2017 – said Petrosky was one of two internal candidates who interviewed for the position before an outside candidate was also interviewed.
Supervisors had previously advertised for the position, but at the last regular meeting, voted to create the position and motioned to hire Petrosky – who was promoted to corporal in July – for the position.
Petrosky was sworn in by Rearick Tuesday, and will begin immediately.
“He’s done a lot for this department in the short time he’s been here,” Rearick said in December. “He’s shown initiative – we are getting more-and-more good comments about the (police) department.”
Southworth seconded Rearick’s motions at the December meeting.
“(Petrosky’s) brought the department up to where it needs to be. He’s done a very good job,” Southworth added.
Petrosky – who said he interviewed for the position due to his 25 years of Pennsylvania State Police and leadership training in the military – received his letter from township supervisors December 30.
“I felt I was able to contribute to the Manor Township Police Department and fill the shoes of (former chief) Mike Karabin. I hope I can continue the professionalism and integrity that Mike Karabin gave to Manor Township,” Petrosky said last night.
In his exclusive interview with the Kittanning Paper, Chief Petrosky said the training he has received in the past six months also has helped him improve.
“I’ve learned to deal with Manor Township instead of the whole county,” Petrosky said. “I’ve gotten to meet a lot of the residents of Manor Township and see them repeatedly – when I worked with the State police, I’d work in different zones and wouldn’t get to see the same people every day.
Get to know the people better to better serve and protect them.”
Karabin will not be leaving the department, but did not interview for the full-time position due to his current full-time job. He was appointed by supervisors to serve as corporal in 2017.
Karabin praised Petrosky’s efforts after the reorganization, and vice-versa.
“Sergeant Bish and Mike Karabin – the chief when I started – have done an outstanding job of taking me from a State trooper to a municipal police officer. There was a lot of different things to learn as a municipal officer – departments are smaller; they don’t have the financial backing the State Police have,” Petrosky said.
“The things they taught me, two years ago when I was still with the State, I never would’ve thought of.”
Supervisors recognized and thanked Karabin for his 25 years of service so far.
“We made some significant changes, and it was all for the betterment of the police department,” Palmer said. “But, at the same time, I would like to recognize Mike Karabin for his service, dedication to the department.”
Terry Bish – a local officer for 20 years – was reappointed as police sergeant.
Supervisors previously set the police chief wage at $37,500 annually, while Sgt. Bish and Corporal Karabin will both earn $17.50 per hour.
In addition to the three police leaders, part-time patrol officers were also given a wage increase – to nearly $17 per hour.
In his first police report, Chief Petrosky said department officers worked more than 410 hours during December, with most incidents occurring during daylight shifts.
As is the case in North Buffalo Township, Chief Petrosky urged residents to lock their vehicles at all times due to five thefts being reported during the month.
“It will eliminate a lot of these thefts. If you go to a convenience store, lock your vehicle,” Chief Petrosky said. “That would help the police tremendously and it will help the citizens from becoming victims if they just lock their vehicles.”
With Manor Township scheduling more than 500 duty hours in January, Petrosky will staff 40 of the 125 hours per week and the rest of the duty hours will be filled by up to Bish, Karabin and up to a half-dozen other part-time police officers.
As is all other township positions, Chief Petrosky’s appointment is for one year (until next January’s reorganization).
Chief Petrosky will receive 13 holidays as a full-time employee. Other police officers will each receive nearly a dozen paid holidays – including new additions this year of Veterans’ Day, Patriots Day (September 11) and Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15).