By Kaylee Lindenmuth
SHENANDOAH - As a long-time officer retires and another leaves for another department, Shenandoah borough is looking to expedite the interview process to hire new officers.
Currently, the borough has five full-time officers, and approximately five part-time officers according to Mayor Andrew Szczyglak.
On July 13, Lt. Gary Keppel will retire, according to a letter submitted by Keppel, read at Monday night's borough council meeting during the Mayor's report.
"I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to serve the community as a police officer for the past 25 years," said Szczyglak, reading the letter aloud. "It has been a long and bumpy ride for a guy that came from out of town and persevered through the ups and downs of the department. Although I will miss the excitement of the job, I look forward to the next chapter of my life and further career choices."
Council subsequently accepted the letter of intent to retire, and Szczyglak then requested an update on the hiring process of police officers, as Keppel's retirement will leave the department with four full-timers.
"I was notified by our police chief, George Carado, that one of our part-time police officers, who you could basically say works full-time hours, has informed our chief that he will be taking a full-time position in another department," Szczyglak said. "With the retirement of Lt. Keppel, and with the departure of our part-timer, Travis Bowman, I would like to know if we've gotten any further with the interviewing process with hiring full-time."
According to Szczyglak, if a department has three or more full-time officers, a two-part procedure must be followed to hire additional officers, going through the Civil Service commission. The first part, a written test, has already been completed. The second part, an interview, has yet to be conducted.
"We were informed last week that there was a possibility that things could've gotten arranged that they could start doing interviews this Thursday, but I have spoken to some of the applicants who have scored and passed, and they have told me they have not heard from the borough yet on any interviewing, so I was just wondering if any progress was made with getting the interviewing together," Szczyglak asked during the meeting.
"I haven't heard anything, Andrew. I'll follow up tomorrow, though," said Council President Leo Pietkiewicz.
Currently, according to Szczyglak, the borough doesn't have full-time police coverage, but the borough has coverage the majority of the time, including in the evening and overnight.
When asked when the breaks in coverage area, Szczyglak said "it all depends. It's however the chief does the schedule. There's some times there's two or three hours in the morning we don't have coverage, but we definitely have coverage at night. Definitely in the evening hours and overnight."