Lawrence Township will promote from within to the fill the position of Police Chief after Daniel Posluszny retires effective Jan. 1, 2014.
Town Council on Tuesday gave Manager Richard Krawczun the go-ahead to appoint a temporary Police Chief effective Jan. 1 and then start the process of civil service testing for the department's highest position.
At most, three people will be eligible to take the civil service exam for Police Chief: Lt. Charles Edgar, Lt. Thomas Ritter and Lt. Mark Ubry.
Krawczun said hiring a civilian Public Safety Director- an idea that had been suggested- would require the police department to fill a currently vacant and unfunded Police Captain position. At a minimum, that would cost Lawrence Township an additional $104,000.
As for hiring a police chief from outside the department, Krawczun said doing so “could be problematic,” although he did not elaborate.
Shaun Sexton, first vice president of FOP Lodge 209, told Council on Tuesday that the organization believes they’re “losing a dedicated leader “in Posluszny and they want the department's next leader to come from within the ranks.
That’s a change from last year, when representatives from both the FOP and the Lawrence Township PBA Local 119 suggested a Public Safety Director could save the town money, but Krawczun said his own analysis found that to be untrue.
A Public Safety Director would cost taxpayers at least $104,000, more even if the person hired did not receive benefits from the Township. And that cost would go against the 2 percent annual tax cap.
Krawczun said the pros of hiring a Public Safety Director would include a fresh perspective from outside the department, the ability to remove the person for poor performance and having one person being responsible for police, fire and emergency medical services. The cons include the person would be a civilian without police powers: that person could not carry firearms or view confidential internal reports.