Waynesburg gets new police chief and borough manager

May 13, 2013

WAYNESBURG – Waynesburg Borough Council filled the positions of two of its top administrators Monday, promoting a patrolman to police chief and hiring a new borough manager.

Robert Toth, who has been with the police department for 16 years and is a patrolman and criminal investigator, was promoted to chief. He will replace Tim Hawfield, who will retire in July.

Michael Simms, now the director of domestic relations for Greene County, was hired to replace borough manager Bruce Wermlinger, who is leaving the borough in August.

Council earlier decided to have the borough civil service commission test eligible officers in the department for promotion to the position of chief.

Council interviewed Toth and police Lt. Dale Phillips prior to Monday’s meeting.

Toth attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania police academy and before coming to the borough was an officer for the Hanover Township Police Department and a deputy for the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.

He had been informed of council’s decision by Wermlinger while council was in executive session and left before council resumed regular session and voted on his promotion.

Hawfield, who has been chief of the department for the last 32 years, said it will take time for Toth to make the transition.

“It will be a significant task for him, but I think he will measure up,” Hawfield said.

“He’s been around long enough to be versed in the operations and procedures of the borough,” he said. He’s well received in the judicial system as a competent and thorough officer.”

Toth will serve as assistant chief until July 16, when Hawfiled retires. He will receive a salary of $57,000 a year and continue to receive the same pension, health and vacation benefits.

Council had received eight applicants for the borough manager’s position. It voted to hire Simms at a salary of $52,000 a year with pension benefits but no health insurance.

Simms, 56, did not attend the meeting. Reached later, he said he was looking forward to the new challenge.

“I thank council for its consideration and for its vote of confidence,” he said “I just hope to continue the work Bruce (Wermlinger) started.” Simms has been with the county for 22 years. He lives in Waynesburg.

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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