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Officer might be switching boroughs

March 02, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The only remaining full-time police officer in Greencastle, Pa., other than the department chief, received approval to be hired for the Waynesboro Police Department by the Waynesboro Borough Council on Wednesday.

Officer Robert Petrunak has been the sole full-time officer with the Greencastle Police Department since one colleague resigned in December 2005 and another in January of this year.

If Petrunak accepts the offer from Waynesboro, Chief Peter Mozurkevich will be working with about half a dozen part-time officers and no full-timers, said Charles Eckstine, Greencastle borough council president.

He and Greencastle Mayor Robert Eberly expressed surprise at Waynesboro's offer when contacted by phone Wednesday night. Neither had received a letter of resignation.

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Greencastle has been interviewing applicants for officer positions in the wake of the resignations.

The effective hire date for Petrunak is scheduled for April 1, said Richard Starliper, mayor of Waynesboro.

The hiring, which came on a unanimous vote by the Waynesboro council, is dependent on Petrunak's successful completion of psychological and physical exams.

Starliper said the process to hire Petrunak started last year through interviews with the civil service commission.

Petrunak would bring the Waynesboro Police Department to a full complement of 20 officers, which is something it hasn't seen in recent months due to retirements.

The additional officer "takes a load off each shift," said Starliper.

Petrunak declined to comment when reached by phone Wednesday night.

Greencastle's 2006 budget allots $417,300 for police service and is based on a complement of the chief and three full-time officers, Borough Manager Ken Myers said in January.

Money also is built in for part-time pay, he said at the time.

Officer Craig Wagner resigned from the Greencastle Police Department last December, and Officer Travis Crouse resigned effective Jan. 28.

Wagner was the acting police chief from the retirement of Terry Sanders in March 2005 until Mozurkevich was hired in October 2005.

In Pennsylvania, the mayors of boroughs typically supervise the police department.

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