Waynesburg council to look in-house to replace chief

March 26, 2013

WAYNESBURG – Waynesburg Borough Council decided at a special meeting Monday to look in-house for a replacement for police Chief Timothy Hawfield.

Council voted to request the borough civil service commission to test eligible officers in the department for promotion to the position of chief.

Hawfield informed council last month he intends to retire in July after serving as chief for the last 34 years.

The commission will administer civil service examinations and conduct interviews with eligible officers who express interest in being promoted to chief.

The commission will then submit the top three candidates to council, which will choose Hawfield’s successor.

The borough police department now has seven full-time and three part-time officers.

The borough’s civil service commission and its procedures are normally used in hiring new officers and promoting officers within the department, Hawfield said Tuesday.

Hawfield said he is in favor of promoting from within and believes there are a number of good reasons for doing so.

The officer already knows the community and the people in it “both good and bad,” he said. The officer also knows the department, its personnel, operations and standard procedures, he said.

In addition, a person being considered for promotion is most likely already known by council. “I think you can say you know what you’re getting when you hire from within,” Hawfield said.

Council also voted Monday to fill a vacancy on the borough’s civic service commission, appointing Adam Jack, chairman of the criminal justice and social sciences department at Waynesburg University.

Other members of the three-person commission are Waynesburg attorney Kirk King and Mike Humiston, director of public safety at Waynesburg University.

Council also voted to request the commission conduct testing for the possible hiring of new officers, which would be needed following the selection of a new chief.

The borough also is currently advertising for the replacement of borough manager Bruce Wermlinger, who announced he is resigning this summer.

Bob Niedbala worked as a general assignment reporter for the newspaper for 27 years in the Greene County bureau. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh.

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