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New police chief named in Washington Township

June 08, 1999|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. - It took nearly two years, but Washington Township has a police chief again.

Sgt. Barry Keller, who has been acting police chief since the resignation of former chief Curt Braun in July 1997, was appointed to the post Monday by the township supervisors, Township Administrator Michael Christopher said Tuesday.

Keller will be paid $48,000 a year, up from his $42,135 sergeant's pay, Christopher said. He will supervise a force of 11 full-time officers and three part-timers.

The supervisors also hired Larry Minnick, a part-time officer, to a full-time position Monday to bring the department back up to its complement of 11 full-time officers, Christopher said.

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Christopher said it took nearly two years to replace Braun because the township was involved in a regional study to determine if combining several small police departments would save money. The study showed it would cost more to consolidate, he said.

Christopher said Keller is an able police officer and administrator. "I'm looking forward to working with him," he said.

Keller, 42, was hired as a sergeant in January 1986. He has a bachelor's degree in administration of justice from Penn State and has spent most of his life in police work.

"I don't expect to make any real changes," he said of his new post. "We've been operating in this capacity for most of the last two years."

Keller's promotion leaves the department with one corporal but no sergeant. "I guess that's something I'm going to need to work on," he said.

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