Green Tree sets standards for police hiring

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Green Tree officials Monday, May 5, set the stage for hiring part-time police officers by establishing minimum qualifications and terms and conditions for their employment in compliance with the current collective bargaining agreement.

"This in no way, shape or form means we are hiring part-time police officers or replacing full-timers with part-timers," said Councilman Rino Lindsey. "This is just setting this in place in case we choose to augment the staff."

The current force consists of a police chief, two lieutenants and eight patrol officers. The department also has an administrative secretary.

The ordinance approved 5-0 Monday specifies that applicants for part-time positions must be at least 21 years old, have completed Act 120 training at a certified training academy, have a valid Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission number or the ability to obtain one and possess a minimum of 2,000 hours of part-time police work experience.

Candidates also must complete a knowledge test, as well as pass a physical assessment and agility test administered by the Allegheny County Police Academy and a medical exam conducted by a physician selected by the borough. They also must undergo a psychological examination and an interview.

Manager David Montz said he and the police union worked out the parameters for hiring part-time officers.

In a related matter, Council voted 4-1 to support a resolution that enables municipal police to use the same motor vehicle speed-timing equipment as state police. David Rea cast the dissenting vote. Ron Panza and John Novak were absent.

"Ever since I've been the manager, there's always been a push to have this," said Mr. Montz, adding that there is a cost involved.

Mr. Rea said he understands Pennsylvania is one of the a few states that doesn't use radar.

Mr. Lindsey expressed faith in the Visual Average Speed and Recorder —VASCAR — system that is in use, though he wants to hear the police chief's opinion. Police Chief Robert Downey Jr. will be invited to speak next month.

In other action, the board voted 5-0 to authorize refinancing the 2009 general obligation bond series, and awarded a $92,800 municipal center air handling unit replacement contract to Lugaila Mechanical Inc.

Also, Mr. Montz was authorized to extend the street and sewer maintenance contract with Casper Colosimo & Sons for another year.

Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer:

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