Carnegie seeing end of Harbin era

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It's nearly the end of an era in Carnegie.

Police chief and borough manager Jeffrey Harbin was dressed in casual clothes Monday night instead of a white shirt and tie. And, he was seated in the audience rather than in his usual spot with borough officials for the monthly council meeting.

Midway through the meeting, he departed quietly and without comment as council members continued to discuss borough matters.

It was the most visible sign to date that Chief Harbin truly is retiring and moving on.

Mr. Harbin, his wife, Lou Ann, and his mother, Judith, are relocating to North Carolina, where they have built a new home. The chief/manager is taking two weeks' vacation to get settled before returning in June to wind up his duties. He's expected to retire at the end of June.

"He's been a fixture in this community," said Councilman Pat Catena on Tuesday morning. Mayor Jack Kobistek also took note of the chief's diminished role in borough affairs.

"Many of the younger and newer residents of this community haven't known any other chief," the mayor said.

A Carnegie native, Chief Harbin, 59, had planned to retire at the end of this year. But, his home in North Fayette sold within a few days and his new southern home was completed sooner than expected.

"Everything just happened so quickly," said Chief Harbin, who seems very eager to retire.

He graduated from Carlynton High School in 1972, served four years in the U. S. Marine Corps and joined the Carnegie Police Department in 1976. In 1988, he was promoted to sergeant and was named police chief four years later.

He has expanded his duties and has served as Carnegie's manager since February 2011.

Though Mr. Harbin hasn't revealed any post-retirement plans, most observers think it's a sure bet that he will continue to do his daily runs. In 2008, he organized the first 5KCarnegie Volunteer Fire Department race/walk that continues to draw large numbers of racers and spectators each April.

Council has not yet named replacements for Mr. Harbin's dual positions as manager and police chief.


Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer:


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