Police chief resigns post in Saltsburg
After two and a half years of service on the Saltsburg Borough police force, Chief Gary Walker has hung up his badge.
Borough council accepted Walker’s resignation at a meeting on Monday. Walker had sent in his formal letter on July 16, effective July 18.
In the letter, Walker said that it is his “intent to retire from the law enforcement profession,” citing changes in his personal life.
Walker was hired as officer-in-charge of the Saltsburg Borough police department in January 2011 and in April of that year was voted chief after “exceeding expectations” during his first few months on the job.
“It is my hope that the general feeling of security is at least somewhat better than when I initially arrived here,” Walker said in his resignation letter. “Thank you for the opportunity to work with a great group of guys who were dedicated to the service of Saltsburg.”
Walker is retiring after 30 years in law enforcement, including as chief deputy of the Mifflin County Sheriff’s Department in Lewistown and as sergeant of the Mifflin County Regional Police in Yeagertown, according to his profile on LinkedIn.
According to Mayor Elizabeth Rocco, officers are now in transition, “working together to keep the department functioning together the way it did when the chief was here.”
“The safety and the concerns of Saltsburg Borough are first and foremost in their minds,” Rocco said.
Borough Council President P.J. Hruska said the borough will not hire a new chief at this time.
In other news, council:
• Approved the advertisement of a proposed liquor license for The Olde Salt Restaurant on Point Street. According to the restaurant’s owner, Regis Georges, “It would be great if (customers) could come and have a beer,” though the restaurant would “never do anything to become a nuisance.”
“Food costs keep going up and we’re trying to think of ways that we can make money to make improvements to our building,” Georges said.
The restaurant will not have a bar, he said, but customers will be able to purchase alcohol before dinner or with a meal.
• Approved the purchase of a Metro Alert system at a cost not to exceed $5,000 for the police department.
The system will be used by officers to record incidents and citations, and allows officers to do so from their cruisers. The purchase includes a year of support, remote training for all of the officers and software updates throughout the year.
• Will rebuild the roof of a garage at the trailer park at Pine Way and High Street that serves asstorage for the borough. Council voted to make the improvements to the building at a cost not to exceed $5,200. This cost will also include the excavation of a ditch at the fire department.
Members of the volunteer fire department will make the improvements to the garage at no cost.
• Approved the closure of Point Street for a car cruise to be held by the Heritage Holiday Committee on Sept. 12.
• Approved the closure of the alley behind the comfort station during a craft show to be held by the Saltsburg Music Boosters onSept. 12.
• Announced that the library will hold an open house for government officials from 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 13 at the library.