Green Tree officials are crossing their fingers that all of the required paperwork will be completed and received in Harrisburg in time for its new police chief, Robert Downey Jr., to join the force on Monday.
Manager David Montz explained earlier this week that the required Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission information and certifications have been delayed because of the Christmas and New Year's working and mail schedules.
"It was the unfortunate timing of the holidays," he said, vowing to press on so that Mr. Downey can assume his chief's role on time.
Mr. Downey, 56, of Baldwin Township was hired unanimously in December. At solicitor Peter Molinaro's suggestion, council on Monday adopted an ordinance concerning the chief for this year with the provision that the start date could be changed.
But Mr. Montz indicated Tuesday that he hopes the original date will stand.
"We will try to make every effort so he starts on the 14th," he said.
He added that the new chief may be sworn in publicly next month, though Mayor Charles Hammer would swear him in privately before that. His starting salary will be $88,000.
Mr. Downey, who holds criminal justice degrees from La Roche College and Cincinnati University, was selected from a field of 41 candidates. He spent 28 years with the Allegheny County Police Department and most recently headed the police forces at Slippery Rock and California State universities.
He is also an elected commissioner in Baldwin Township and a member of the Medical Rescue Team South Authority.
Mr. Downey's hiring will bring Green Tree's police force to 10 members.
Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.