Charleroi area gets new police chief

June 20, 2014
Charleroi Regional Police Department’s new chief, Eric Porter, is shown in 2009 with then-mayor Frank Paterra after officers broke up a counterfeit check-cashing operation. - Scott Beveridge/Observer-Reporter Order a Print

CHARLEROI – A 16-year veteran police officer in Charleroi was named chief of his regional police department.

The Charleroi Regional police board Wednesday promoted Eric Porter from the rank of detective lieutenant to police chief to oversee a department of seven full-time officers.

Porter said he was serving as acting chief of the department since former chief Michael Matyas retired May 23 after he worked there for nearly three decades.

“We’re just going to keep cracking down on the drug problem,” Porter said Thursday, outlining his primary goal as chief.

He said the department has made 188 arrests this year.

He was hired in Charleroi in 1998 when officers there were members of a borough police department.

In 2012, Charleroi joined with North Charleroi, Speers and Twilight to form a regional force.

Speers Mayor Bill Lee, who chairs the department’s personnel committee, said the majority of the police board believes Porter does outstanding work that has included cooperation with the Secret Service, FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Lee said Porter also has forged bonds with police in the surrounding municipalities.

“He just demonstrates the person and character who would make an outstanding chief,” Lee said.

“We feel that we have made an excellent choice. We think he will prove we made an excellent choice.”

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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