Indiana Borough Council approved hiring the son of a retiring officer as a new member of the Indiana Borough Police Department.
A conditional offer of employment is being made to entry-level police officer candidate Hunter Scherf, who tentatively will be hired April 1, contingent upon pre-employment screenings.
As pointed out by Council Public Safety Committee Chairman Donald Lancaster, Scherf is a graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Police Academy, is number one on the borough’s civil service eligibility list and comes with prior professional experience.
“Final employment would be contingent upon successful completion of the field training program and a year-long probationary period,” Lancaster said.
Scherf is among the ranks of police officers in Clymer Borough and the Allegheny County city of Duquesne, but Chief Justin Schawl said Indiana “will be his sole professional experience” after April 1.
Lancaster also noted that Hunter Scherf is the son of Detective John Scherf, “who has an exemplary record of service,” and that the hiring is consistent with borough policy on employing relatives.
Schawl said John Scherf has a retirement date forthcoming “in the not-too-distant future.”
Lancaster also noted in his Public Safety Committee report that Detective Scott Schuller has retired from the borough police after 26 years of service.
Several of the non-uniformed borough personnel received praise for their work keeping 37 miles of borough roads clear amid recent snow and ice.
“I think our crew does a darn good job,” Council Vice President and Public Works Committee Chairman Gerald Smith said.
He noted that the crew is “understaffed,” with six working what normally would be the jobs of eight staffers on the borough’s three plows.
“Thank you to street crew for the great work you have done,” Manager C. Michael Foote added.
Smith also reminded borough residents that a hotline, (724) 465-6512, will be available once the weather warms up and potholes start popping up on Indiana streets.
Tuesday’s meeting also was the first for new interim Mayor Joseph Trimarchi, who was chosen two weeks ago to finish the term of retired Mayor George Hood. He thanked borough staffers for their service, and said he looked forward to working with council.
Council President Dr. Peter Broad said Trimarchi could continue attending Shade Tree Commission meetings, but that a new voting member should be found for that panel.
The council president also said proposals were “trickling in” for a new borough solicitor. He said the request for proposals had drawn three as of Tuesday morning.
However, while one would-be provider of legal services is from Indiana, and at least one more local firm had inquired about the position, the council president said other proposals had come from Pittsburgh and West Mifflin, both Allegheny County.